If you are planning to run the Boston Marathon or just want to experience the excitement of the event, you should definitely check out the Boston Marathon Expo.
The expo is a three-day event that features more than 200 exhibitors offering the latest in running apparel, shoes, accessories, nutrition, technology, and more.
The Boston Marathon Expo is one of the most anticipated events leading up to the Boston Marathon.
As the most significant running expo in the country, the Expo provides an opportunity for runners to connect with fellow athletes, learn about the latest running gear and technology, and pick up their race bibs and other essentials.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Boston Marathon Expo, including how to get there, parking information, and tips for navigating the event.
Significance Of The Boston Marathon Expo
Attending the Boston Marathon Expo is not only a great way to prepare for the race, but also an opportunity to connect with other runners and fitness enthusiasts.
By participating in the Expo, runners can gain valuable insights, learn about new products and technologies, and connect with a supportive community of like-minded individuals.
Furthermore, the Boston Marathon Expo serves as a reminder of the incredible history and legacy of the Boston Marathon, and the importance of this event not only to the running community but to the city of Boston and the entire world.
Getting To The Boston Marathon Expo
Dates and Times of the Expo
The Boston Marathon Expo takes place three days before the race, typically on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before Marathon Monday.
The Boston Marathon expo’s hours of operation are usually from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM on all three days. It is important to note that the expo closes promptly at 7:00 PM, so plan accordingly.
Location of the Boston Marathon Expo
The Expo is held at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, located in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston situated at 900 Boylston St.
Public Transportation Options
Public transportation is the easiest and most convenient way to get to the Expo, with several subway and bus lines running nearby.
There are several ways to get to the expo by public transportation:
- Through the Green Line
- Through the Orange Line
- By Bus
Expo goers have several options for getting to the Hynes Convention Centre, including taking the Green Line to the Hynes Convention Centre station or the Copley station.
One convenient option is to take the Orange Line to the Back Bay station or the Commuter Rail to the Back Bay station, followed by a short walk to the convention center.
An alternative mode of transport to get to the expo is by bus, with routes 1, 9, 10, 39, 55, or CT1 stopping at the Hynes Convention Centre.
Driving Directions and Parking Information
If you prefer to drive to the expo, you should be aware that parking can be challenging and expensive in this area.
There are also numerous road closures, particularly during the Boston Athletic Association 5km race. Check your route and parking options before departing on your journey.
The Hynes Auditorium Garage (Pilgrim Parking) offers convenient on-site parking, but spaces fill up quickly and can be expensive.
Numerous parking garages are available close to the convention center. These include:
- Prudential Centre Garage,
- Four Seasons One Dalton Valet (Propark),
- 102 Belvidere St Garage
- Central LAZ Parking
- Boston Marriott Copley Place Parking
You can also try to find street parking on Boylston Street or nearby streets, but be prepared to pay meters and follow parking regulations.
It’s important to note that parking fees can be steep, with rates ranging from $10-$30 per day.
In addition, special needs parking is available for those with disabilities, but it must be reserved in advance.
Not driving or taking public transport?
Alternative transportation options, such as biking or walking, may also be viable, depending on your location.
What To Expect at the Boston Marathon Expo
Overview of the Expo
The Boston Marathon Expo is a bustling hub of activity, with thousands of runners and spectators filling the Convention Centre.
In addition to picking up your race bib and other essentials, the Expo features a variety of exhibitors and vendors showcasing the latest running gear and technology.
Seminars and presentations are also offered throughout the day, covering topics such as training tips, nutrition and hydration strategies, and injury prevention.
Exhibitors and Vendors
The Expo features a wide range of exhibitors and vendors from the running and fitness industries. You’ll find booths from major athletic brands like Nike, Asics, and New Balance, as well as smaller companies showcasing their latest products and innovations.
Some of the most noteworthy exhibitors at the Boston Marathon Expo in recent years include:
- Boston Beer
- Abbott World Marathon Majors
- Marathon Tours & Travel
- Fond Memories Graphics
- Blue Diamond Athletic Displays
Marathon Market Place:
- ALINA SOL®
- Blueshift Nutrition
- Quten Research Institute – Qunol
- Five Diamond Botanicals
- HENKA LLC
- KT Tape
Packet Pickup and Bib Number Distribution
One of the main draws of the Expo is the opportunity for runners to pick up their race packets and bib numbers.
This is an important step for runners, as they’ll need their bib numbers to participate in the marathon.
Be sure to bring a photo ID and your confirmation email or letter to pick up your packet and bib number.
The packet pickup process can be pretty crowded, so it’s a good idea to arrive early to avoid long lines and wait times.
Some runners choose to pick up their packets on the first day of the Expo to avoid the rush on later days. Once runners have collected their packets and bib numbers, they can explore the rest of the Expo and take advantage of the many offerings and activities available.
The number pickup at Boston is so seamless, and even long queues are dealt with relatively quickly. The real problem with Marathon Saturday and Sunday is merchandise shopping. To avoid spending a long time in queues, I aim to register on Friday when possible.
Merchandise and Souvenirs
In addition to race packets and bib numbers, the Expo is a great place to stock up on Boston Marathon merchandise and souvenirs.
The Boston Marathon Expo offers a wide variety of official race gear and merchandise that runners and spectators alike can purchase as souvenirs.
One of the most popular items is the official Boston Marathon jacket, which is available in various colors and styles. These jackets are made from high-quality materials and feature the iconic unicorn logo of the Boston Athletic Association.
In addition to jackets, the Expo also offers a wide variety of other apparel, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats.
These items come in a range of sizes and styles, so you’re sure to find something that fits your preferences.
If you’re looking for something more unique, the Expo also features a variety of commemorative items like posters, keychains, and water bottles.
These items often feature the date of the race and the iconic Boston Marathon logo, making them great souvenirs for yourself or gifts for friends and family.
These vendors often offer exclusive items that are only available at the Expo, so be sure to stop by and check out their booths.
If you can’t make it to the Expo in person, many of these vendors also offer online shopping options where you can purchase official Boston Marathon merchandise from the comfort of your own home.
These online stores often have a wider selection of items than what’s available at the Expo, so it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for something specific.
Presentations and Seminars
Throughout the Expo, there are a variety of presentations and seminars on topics related to running and fitness.
These are great opportunities for runners to learn from experts in the field and improve their skills and knowledge.
You can typically access the schedule for presentations and seminars in advance via the official website of the Boston Marathon, so you can plan which sessions to attend based on your interests and goals.
The most popular topics covered in these sessions include strength training techniques, injury prevention, training plans, and nutrition and hydration strategies.
Speakers may include coaches, nutritionists, and professional runners who can share their experience and expertise with attendees.
For your Boston Marathon hydration strategy, check out Boston Marathon Fueling Guide: What to Eat and Where to Find It
Attending these presentations and seminars can also be a great way to connect with other runners and share tips and advice.
It’s a chance to learn from others who have similar goals and challenges and to build a sense of community around the sport of running.
In addition to the scheduled sessions, there may also be opportunities for one-on-one consultations with experts in areas like nutrition or biomechanics.
These can be a great way to get personalized advice and guidance on how to improve your performance and prevent injuries.
To make the most of the presentations and seminars, be sure to arrive early and get a good seat. Bring a notebook and pen to take notes.
And don’t forget to stay hydrated and fuelled throughout the day, so you have the energy and focus to absorb all the information being presented.
Boston Marathon Fan Fest
Once you’re done exploring the Boston Marathon Expo, there’s still plenty to do in the area.
One such option is to head over to the Boston Marathon Fan Fest in Copley Square, which takes place on the same weekend and is open to the public.
This free event offers a variety of experiences with official Boston Marathon sponsors, live music, returning champions, and special guest panels.
Additionally, there is a race weekend clinic where attendees can learn more about training, injury prevention, and nutrition from experts in the field.
To ensure you don’t miss out on any of the fun at the Boston Marathon Fan Fest, keep an eye on the official Boston Marathon website for the full schedule of events and times.
Tips for Navigating the Boston Marathon Expo
With so much to see and do at the Boston Marathon Expo, it’s important to plan and set priorities.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:
1. Plan: Before heading to the Expo, take some time to review the schedule of events and vendors. This will help you prioritize what you want to see and do and make the most of your time there.
2. Get there early: The Expo can get crowded, especially on Saturday and Sunday. Getting there early will give you more time to explore without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
3. Bring comfortable shoes: With over 200 vendors and exhibitors, you will be doing a lot of walking. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes to avoid foot pain or blisters.
4. Bring a backpack: You’ll be receiving lots of free samples and promotional materials, so bring a backpack or tote bag to carry them all.
5. Bring a water bottle: Staying hydrated is important, especially if you’re spending several hours at the Expo. Bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated and avoid paying for bottled water.
6. Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Vendors and exhibitors are there to help you and answer any questions you may have about their products or services.
7. Take advantage of discounts: Many vendors offer special discounts and promotions at the Expo. Take advantage of these deals and save some money on your purchases.
8. Attend seminars and talks: The Boston Marathon Expo offers a variety of seminars and talks on topics such as training, nutrition, race strategy, and injury prevention. Attend these sessions to learn from experts in the field.
9. Have fun: The Boston Marathon Expo is a celebration of running and fitness. Enjoy the experience and have fun exploring all that the Expo has to offer.
10. Don’t try any freebies: There will be lots of free goodies being handed out for you to try and taste… These could have negative effects on your gastrointestinal health and could your race day success. Rather put all the goodies in a bag and put the bag away until after race day.
By following these tips, you can make the most of your Boston Marathon Expo experience and enjoy everything it has to offer.
Don’t miss this chance to be part of one of the world’s most prestigious and historic marathons!