Things went smoothly on Monday – for an unconventional Boston Marathon – but a notable hiccup was a number of buses straying toward the start line.
Some buses closing runners from Boston to Hopkinton did not arrive at the designated drop-off area near the start, The Boston Globe reported, and instead people fell about a mile and a half away on a street crossed by police.
Police told Globe at least eight buses were lost on the way to the start line, and dozens of runners faced the uphill walk before their races began. Although buses tried to reroute, most runners returned to the blocked intersection with Cedar Street and Legacy Farms N and had to travel.
In addition, several buses coordinated by the Boston Athletic Association were lost, but each reached the start line on time. BAA spokesman Chris Lotsbom told Boston.com that their buses, operated by the Yankee Line, made 350 trips to Hopkinton to drop runners and three wrong exits.
“The buses were enabled using GPS tracking and radio communications that allowed Yankee Line to confirm only three buses approached the drop-off location from another Hopkinton exit, but were led to the correct Pleasant drop-down location. Street for athletes, ”he said.
“In the months before the race, the BAA encouraged all athletes to participate in the official transportation program. Yankee Line drivers were trained early in the Boston Marathon with training runs and route videos to ensure uniformity of routing. “
With more than 15,000 runners, there are more, privately operated buses carrying runners to the start line on race morning. The BAA does not monitor those routes, Lotsbom said, and it is not clear who operated the other buses.
North Carolina runners Jon Viventi and Jen Chu were each on a delayed BAA bus.
“Our bus made a wrong turn and exited the highway early,” Viventi told Boston.com. “Then we went back down the highway to the east, and had to go many miles in the wrong direction before we could get back down and turn around. Luckily, someone from my group came from Boston and was able to give directions. Got there. we were there, maybe an hour and twenty minutes after we left? “
Although the start run was forgiving, Viventi said they ended up passing people around for a while because they started on a next wave. Chu also missed his estimated start window – he started around 10:15 am – but said he didn’t care because they did it too late.
“Our bus first took us to a parking lot where there were other school buses; however, they were all empty except for a few drivers. Some volunteers on the lot were looking at us with surprise so we realized that we’re definitely in the wrong place, ”Chu told Boston.com. “Some other runners on the bus asked our driver to take us to the middle school nearby, where we saw a lot of runners and buses. We thought they were releasing runners there but it’s really another place to bus loading… Our bus ended next to those buses to Hopkinton.The runner sitting next to me had his phone and told us we were about 5 miles away from where we were supposed to get off. We did it though! ”
Ultimately, Viventi and Chu praised the overall organization of the race and said they had a great experience. Viventi finished in 3,255 places overall with a time of 03:15:28, and Chu entered 9,916 overall with a time of 04:02:39.
“Everything else about the race is really done,” Viventi said. “I want them to keep playing. I haven’t experienced the village of players, but what we did was much better than hanging out for a lot of time in the beginning. But maybe print some directions for the drivers. bus next time. “
“I also liked the launch but didn’t seem to get Athlete’s Village because it was part of the Boston experience,” Chu said. “Fully understand the precautions taken and appreciate the organizers of all their efforts! I love this career-the volunteers, organizers, spectators are amazing!”
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