Anthony Golden / Gavel Media

How to Survive (and Thrive) on Marathon Monday

Ah, Marathon Monday. On a day that is often likened to Christmas morning for college kids, it’s true that nobody celebrates Patriots’ Day quite like the Boston College students down at Mile 21. Whether you’re a freshman who has yet to discover the wonders that lie ahead or you’re an upperclassman looking to improve on the Ls you took last year, fret no longer: The Gavel is here with your comprehensive guide to surviving (and thriving) on Marathon Monday.


  • Eat breakfast. Seriously.

If you don’t eat something before you start consuming beverages, you’re very, very likely going to regret it for the rest of the day. As far as breakfast goes, the heartier the better—get some bagels or home fries in your system and snag a granola bar or two for the road, while you’re at it. You will never thank yourself more for eating a meal, we promise.

  • Wear sunscreen.

If you think we’re kidding with this one, just wait and see how fried your skin will be after a day spent cheering on runners in the beating sun—sunshine permitting, of course. But with fingers crossed for beautiful weather, make sure to slather on that SPF unless you want to end up looking like a sunburnt lobster for the next week.

  • Don’t wear sunglasses that you don’t want to lose.

Far too many favorite pairs of sunglasses have been lost to the inebriated chaos that is the Marathon Monday darty scene. The cheaper and less dear to your heart they are, the better.

  • Fanny packs are your friend.

Since backpacks are on the BAA prohibited items list anyway, take the safer route with a fanny pack. Those who are willing to look past (or embrace) the touristy dad aesthetic will find their savior in this convenient accessory with a zippered pocket to keep cell phones and other belongings safe and sound. Keep in mind that all bags are subject to search, so plan accordingly.

  • DON’T GO TO THE MODS IF YOU AREN’T 21.

Seriously, it’s just not worth it. Under 21-ers caught in the Mods or hopping the fence on Marathon Monday WILL lose Mod privileges. If you are 21, you’ll need either a passport or driver’s license in addition to your Eagle ID to get in.

  • Know where and when to cross Comm Ave.

If you want to go to parties off campus, make sure to cross Comm Ave. before 10 a.m., where crossing is permitted only at CoRo and St. Ignatius. Keep in mind that if you cross the street, you’ll likely be over there for a while, so double check to make sure you have everything you need (money included, if you plan on buying food later). DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT try to cross while there are a lot of runners coming through (some people actually do this). If you really need to get back, wait until there’s a lull or gap and ask the nearest BPD officer if you can run across, just to be safe.

  • Hit up these spots for food during the day.

El Pelón and Crazy Dough’s are fantastic options for off campus dining during Marathon Monday, but BC Dining has locations that will be in operation, as well. Mac will be open from 8 a.m. to midnight, and Lower will be open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. Also, the infamous Meatball Obsession Shack outside of Lower will actually be open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., so if you stay on the campus side, you definitely won’t wanna miss it.

  • Respect the runners!

Patriots' Day is a truly uniting holiday for the city of Boston that brings in thousands of amazing athletes committed to running the full 26.2 mile stretch. Make sure you don’t disrespect the runners—this holiday is about them! One of the best parts of Marathon Monday is the afternoon stretch of screaming and cheering on runners along the route—seeing smiles as they power through the five remaining miles is inspiring and also super fun.

  • Be smart and safe.

This one speaks for itself. If you or a friend does need help or medical attention, BC staff are stationed along and around the route and there is no shortage of police officers to reach out to. Don’t be afraid to seek help—remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  • And, as always… it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Marathon Monday is arguably the best day of the year for BC kids. For those who want to keep it that way, make sure to pace yourself—the day is long and there is plenty of fun to be had, so there’s no need to rush. As always, enjoy yourself, and we hope to see you out there (and proudly sporting one of our “I Feel Like It’s Marathon Monday” shirts)!

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