If Monday’s 114th edition of the Boston Marathon has inspired you to explore the course of the famous foot race, there are plenty of landmarks you can check out all year long. And if, like me, the only thing you prefer to jog is your memory, well you can join in the spirit of the event without even lacing up your sneakers.
Here are some marathon-related sights to visit:
Hopkinton. The starting line is painted across Route 135 at the town green. Nearby is a statue of George V. Brown, starter of the marathon between 1905 and 1937, with his starter’s pistol aloft. At the one-mile mark at Weston Nurseries on Route 135 is a statue honoring Stylianos Kyriakides, whose victory in the 1946 race brought worldwide attention and badly needed relief supplies to his war-torn homeland of Greece. The statue depicts the runner with Spiridon Louis, his mentor and winner of the 1896 Olympic Marathon. A similar statue is located in Marathon, Greece, a sister city of Hopkinton.
Ashland. Marathon Park on Pleasant Street, about a half-mile north of the current course, commemorates the Boston Marathon’s original starting line. The park includes a pathway lined with historic stations documenting the race.
Newton. Johnny Kelley was a two-time race winner and the ultimate iron man, finishing his last complete marathon at the age of 84. But these days you’ll find him in bronze at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Walnut Street, near Newton City Hall. A statue at the start of the Newton hills depicts a 27-year-old Kelley winning the 1935 race and an 84-year-old Kelley completing his final marathon in 1992. Just up Commonwealth Avenue is Heartbreak Hill, which was so dubbed after Ellison Brown pulled away from Kelley on the incline in the 1936 race and broke his heart.
Boston. The brightly painted finish line is right outside the Boston Public Library. In Copley Square, you’ll find a 15-foot granite medallion embedded in the Boylston Street sidewalk. It includes maps of the course and names of previous winners. Near Trinity Church is a tortoise and hare statue inscribed “In tribute to runners from all over the world.” Behind the John Hancock Building is the Boston Athletic Association headquarters on Trinity Place. Inside is a small museum with historical memorabilia related to the Boston Marathon including Johnny Kelley’s bronzed running shoes and his 1936 Olympic sweatshirt. (The Boston Globe had an article on the museum last week, but botched some of the facts. The sweatshirt belongs to Johnny Kelley the elder, not the 1957 champ.) To make an appointment to view the exhibit, call 617-236-1652 x2624.
More about the history of the Boston Marathon and these landmarks can be found in The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston.