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How to watch the 2011 Boston Marathon

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The historic course starts on Main Street in the rural New England town of Hopkinton and follows Route 135 through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley to where Route 135 joins Route 16. It continues along Route 16 through Newton Lower Falls, turning right at the fire station onto Commonwealth Avenue, which is Route 30. It follows Commonwealth through the Newton Hills, bearing right at the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Avenue to Cleveland Circle. The route then turns left onto Beacon Street continu ing through Kenmore Square, and under Massachusetts Avenue. The course turns right onto Hereford Street (NOTE: against normal traffic flow) then left onto Boylston Street, finishing near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.


Limited parking is available at the South Street lot and at Hopkinton State Park on Route 85. Shuttle buses drop off spectators in the center of Hopkinton. Buses make return trips to the parking lots until approximately 11:30 a.m. Viewing along the course route in each of the respective cities and towns is based on a first come basis.


The final 100 meters of the race is lined with bleacher seating. However, this area is reserved for race officials and invited guests. The Charles River (north) side of Boylston Street is open to the general public, and many fans arrive at the finish area in the early hours of the morning to secure the best viewing area. Spectators planning to view the race from this area should plan accordingly, and be aware of the many parking restrictions. A viewing area for persons with disabilities is located at the corner of Hereford and Boylston Streets. This area is adjacent to the Boston EMS Medical Tent and the fire station. Principal race sponsor John Hancock furnishes the finish area with a large video monitor, enabling spectators to watch a broadcast of the race while they await the arrival of all the finishers. The screen is located on Boylston Street at the intersection of Exeter Street, opposite the Boston Public Library.

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