How To Track A Runner In The Boston Marathon

Have you ever found yourself waiting anxiously at the finish line of a marathon, eagerly anticipating the arrival of your loved one or friend? The Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious and iconic marathons in the world, and being able to track a runner’s progress can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. As an avid runner and marathon enthusiast myself, I have had the pleasure of tracking runners in the Boston Marathon multiple times, and in this article, I will share with you my personal tips and insights on how to effectively track a runner in this historic race.

1. Familiarize Yourself with the Boston Marathon Tracking System

Before the big day, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the Boston Marathon tracking system. The official website of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) provides a user-friendly interface that allows you to track runners in real-time. Simply visit their website and search for the “Track a Runner” feature. Here, you can enter the runner’s name or bib number to access their live updates and progress throughout the race.

2. Utilize the Boston Marathon Mobile App

To make tracking even more convenient, I highly recommend downloading the official Boston Marathon mobile app. Available for both iOS and Android devices, this app provides a wealth of information and features, including live tracking of registered runners, interactive course maps, and real-time race updates. With the app in hand, you can easily keep tabs on your runner’s whereabouts at any given moment.

3. Plan Your Spectating Strategy

As someone who has spectated at the Boston Marathon, I can assure you that planning your spectating strategy is key to successfully tracking your runner. The race route covers 26.2 miles through various neighborhoods and landmarks, so strategically positioning yourself along the course will greatly enhance your chances of seeing your runner multiple times.

Start by studying the course map and identifying key checkpoints or mile markers where you would like to cheer on your runner. Popular spectator spots include the starting line in Hopkinton, the famous “Heartbreak Hill” in Newton, and the finish line in Copley Square. Plan your transportation accordingly, taking into consideration road closures and public transportation options.

4. Create Customized Signs or Clothing

One way to make tracking your runner in the Boston Marathon even more special is by creating customized signs or clothing. Personalized signs with encouraging messages or your runner’s name will surely catch their attention as they pass by. Additionally, wearing matching t-shirts or brightly colored clothing can make it easier for your runner to spot you in the crowd.

5. Keep an Eye on Social Media

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram can be valuable resources for tracking your runner’s progress. The Boston Marathon official accounts, as well as various running and marathon-related accounts, often provide live updates, photos, and videos from the race. By following these accounts and monitoring relevant hashtags, you can stay up to date and get a glimpse of the race atmosphere even if you are not physically present.


Tracking a runner in the Boston Marathon allows you to be a part of the excitement and support them every step of the way. By familiarizing yourself with the Boston Marathon tracking system, utilizing the mobile app, planning your spectating strategy, creating customized signs or clothing, and keeping an eye on social media, you can ensure a memorable and successful tracking experience. So, grab your cheering gear and get ready to witness the triumphs and personal accomplishments of the runners in the Boston Marathon!