When I ran my first Boston Marathon in 2010, I scoured the message boards on Runner’s World on a daily basis and heard all of this talk about a finisher jacket and how it was the pinnacle symbol of finishing the race. I had just bought a jacket from NYC Marathon a few months ago and wasn’t sure if I really needed another one that was exactly the same.
Until we got to Boston and saw the Boston Marathon jacket in action. There were people wearing them from decades ago, with the years that they ran and finished the marathon embroidered on the back. Some people had 10+ marathons list! I remember I was so impressed and immediately knew that if and when I had a chance to go to Boston again, I would definitely be there (yes, I decided this before I even ran the race).
So you may wonder, what’s the big deal with the Boston Marathon jacket anyways? Well, it’s sort of like a badge of honor. Wearing that around your town or city shows that yes, you ran the Boston Marathon, which is an honor that only a fraction of the population really has! I think it is even more significant now after the bombings in 2013.
It serves as a symbolism as hitting a marathoner’s most epic goal: qualifying for the race. This can take people years; it can take marathon after marathon. Like I mentioned last week, there’s a lot that goes into qualifying for the Boston Marathon so of course, wearing a finisher jacket serves as icing on the cake.
But, here’s a little secret: Buy your jacket before you get to Boston. Adidas sells them on its website for the same price (with free shipping), and it makes it less stressful to go to the expo (sometimes they run out of sizes) when you already have the #1 thing that you want.
Must-have essentials: finisher jacket, sweatshirt from prior year, welcome packet
And other secret? Many consider it’s a major faux pas or even bad luck if you don the jacket before you even finish the race. You can totally try it on to make sure it fits, but don’t wear it around the town or take pictures in it. Of course, if you don’t believe in that kind of stuff, do whatever you want with it! I am slightly superstitious so mine stays in the package until after I have that medal around my neck.
It’s the only race (that I know of) where there’s a particular item that you have to buy and wear after the finish. I think it adds to the overall amazingness that is the Boston Marathon, honestly!
Come back next week… I’ll share my favorite must-have items to purchase from the Boston Marathon expo (there are so many vendors, a list will make you happy!)
Boston finishers: Did you buy a finisher jacket? Why or why not?
What do you absolutely need to buy from expos? Or do you prefer to skip it all?
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