What's Better than Boston?

Duke from Cambridge Sports Union (CSU) e-mailed me last week to inquire if I was riding the Boston bus this year. The Boston bus is a service provided by CSU that takes runners from MIT in Cambridge to the start of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton. A spot on one of the buses costs $30. They always fill up so Duke wanted to be sure I got my spot. Nice guy. But hang on, you say, doesn’t the BAA provide buses? Well yes, BAA does provide school buses that transport runners to Hopkinton, and unceremoniously dumps them there. If the weather is nice that’s fine, but if it’s cold, raining, windy, etc., it’s an awfully long (depending on your wave, could be 2-3 hours) and miserable wait.

Meanwhile, the CSU buses, equipped with bathrooms, remain in Hopkinton so you can stay on the bus until you’re ready to head to the start. Given the long porta-potty lines I saw when I ran Boston in 2009, I was glad for a semi-private bathroom and a quiet refuge away from the madness of “athletes village” – which I wandered over to and from which I hastily retreated. If you’re running Boston and are interested in the CSU bus, contact Duke at dukehutch@yahoo.com. I won’t be needing my spot.

Truth is, I’m not running Boston this year. And I’m not even sad.


Because my best friend is getting married. 🙂

When I signed up for Boston way back in October she had just become engaged and I had no idea her wedding would be April 20th. But hang on, the Boston Marathon is April 16th! Yes, it is. And her wedding is in Maidenhead, just outside London. For a moment I thought about running Boston, coming home, flying to London possibly the next day, and I realized how hectic and crazy and exhausting that was going to be. And what if she needed help before the wedding? She flew out here a week before my wedding and helped me with all those pre-wedding crises…

We’ve been friends since we met our first year of college – 20 years ago:

 We’ve run races together:

 She’s hung out with my kids on her birthday, trips to DC, and Halloween:


We’ve kidnapped her from work in London:


We’ve been to Iceland:


We’ve shared 20 years of adventures, stories, successes, disappointments. We don’t have to make excuses to one another and we don’t have to talk all the time because sometimes we just know what the other is thinking. In fact, sometimes we don’t communicate for months yet are always able to pick up where we left off. While we live far apart I think we’ve seen each other almost every year. I either travel to London or she comes here, or we meet in the middle, which was Iceland last year.

And so while I don’t mean to negate or in any way belittle a marathon that is a dream for many, an accomplishment for a few, and a wonderful experience, THIS:

is so much better than Boston. 🙂


  1. Heck yeah that’s more important and more fun! Boston will be there for an eternity–your friends wedding won’t!
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  2. the free buses are really not that bad- when you get there, yes you have a maybe 2 hour wait? but it is exciting, you meet nad talk with others, and if you are smart you’ll bring like a towel to sit on/wrap up in, foot and hand warmer things, etc… there is NO WAY I’d pay $30 for a bus!

    • They’re not bad at all, but a wait in torrential rain could be! I saw people with inflatables to lie on which was definitely a good idea. Again, all this works great if the weather is good. The year it was bad people were freezing and soaked by the time they started. It’s nice to have options. 🙂

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