The Good and the Bad of Boston Running

After a summer in Cambridge/Boston, I’m back home in New York. The end of my Boston trip also signified an end to my Boston running, a running scene which I sorely miss already.  Below are the things I loved and hated about Boston running.

The good:

1. The other runners! And not just on Sunday mornings, they were hitting the roads at all times. There was a large diversity of runners too, from those clearly on their bi-monthly slog to Boston marathoners.

2. Scenery. Okay, Boston is not exploding with natural wonders, but it’s a nice city, and the Charles River is pretty. Plus, I have a suburb of New York to compare it to, so it doesn’t take much for me to be impressed.

3. The bridge loops. The popular loops around bridges on the Charles River are nice loops with easy-to-remember distances. They were an easy default when I was too lazy to map out a new route. On a related note, I did manage to run just about every bridge over the Charles River within a 10 mile radius of Boston, an arbitrary goal of mine over the summer.

Longfellow Bridge in Boston, spanning the Charles River. A member of the bridge loop club. Picture by Matthew Miller, Wikipedia Commons.

And the bad:

1. The weather. This is to New England in general, actually: Stop raining already! It especially liked to rain when I was already on the verge of not doing a run already because I was tired and didn’t feel well. And I wasn’t even there for the New England winter.

2. The pedestrians. Maybe it’s because Boston has so many runners, or maybe I was simply imagining it, but pedestrians in Boston tended to not yield to runners. Some of them were good about it, quickly clearing a path, but others hardly moved, if at all. Maybe I simply had higher expectations for a running city, because now that I think about it I doubt New York is any better.

3. The god-damn street names. I swear to god, the city planners must have been smoking something when they laid Boston out. Mapping a run one day, I noticed Washington Street crossing Washington Street which a couple of hundred feet later crossed, you guessed it, Washington Street. This was by FAR the most frustrating aspect of running in Boston, and it was responsible for some rather painful extended runs.

Overall, though, the good outweighs the bad, and I’m hoping  to do some more Boston running soon.

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