April 18, 2011
Freedom Trail Run Review
This past weekend I was in Boston for a family function. I had an amazing time; I got to see my sisters, father, step-mother, and some aunts, uncles and cousins whom I hadn't seen in about five years! I also got to meet two women whom I've known for years on my "mommy" message board, but had never met in person. That was so fun, finally connecting with people I've known online for almost eight years! Unfortunately I was not able to stay an extra day to watch the Boston Marathon; as a runner, I would love to spectate this historic race!
One other thing I got to do was a fabulous running tour of the historic Freedom Trail. A running tour? Yes, indeed!
A few months ago, I got a notice that @FreedomTrailRun was following me on Twitter. Whenever someone new follows me, I always click on them to check them out. If they have similar interests as me (ie, if they are a runner or a triathlete, or a parent of a child with special needs) I almost always follow them back. If it's a company of some sort, I may or may not follow back. If it's spam, I never follow back, obviously. When I clicked on FreedomTrailRun, I saw it was a running tour in Boston. Remembering I would soon be in Boston for this family function, I looked at the website. I got really excited realizing I could take a running tour of the Freedom Trail! What a way to get some sight-seeing in, learn some history, and get a workout all at the same time! I wanted to get a run in anyway, especially since I'd never run in Massachusetts before.
Most of Eddie's tours are group runs on the weekends. Since I was tied up all weekend, I emailed him and asked about doing a private tour. A group run costs $35 per person, while the private run costs $50, but I didn't care about that. I wanted to sign up! The price includes the tour, a ferry ticket, and a commemorative t-shirt. We arranged for me to meet him on Boston Common on Friday afternoon, where we would commence my 2 hour 5k tour. Eddie was very responsive over email, giving me detailed directions to the parking garage where I should park, as well as answering other questions I had. Later, I realized that I was friends with Eddie on dailymile....so we had another connection!
The day of my tour, I made my way downtown, found a parking garage, and met Eddie on Boston Common. He asked me how detailed the history I wanted on the tour; I wanted to hear it all! On the tour, it's obvious that Eddie geeks out on historical details, which is the way a tour guide should be. I geek out on the details, too, so it was perfect. He knew everything! He pointed out so many things, and answered questions that I had.
The tour consisted of lots of running and stopping. We would run for a bit, then stop as he would describe a gravestone, or a town hall, or a monument. We saw so many historical sites: cemeteries with the gravestones of John Hancock, Paul Revere and Sam Adams; the site of the Boston Massacre; Paul Revere's House; the meeting house where the revolutionaries decided to dump the tea into Boston Harbor; the Bunker Hill Monument; the USS Constitution; and more! I never really felt like I was running; there were lots of stops, and even on the running parts Eddie would be telling the history of where we were running through, or pointing out other interesting parts of Boston. At the end of the tour we took a ferry ride back to the starting point.
Eddie started this company with his daughter, and it feels like a nice, family-run business. He was very attentive to my needs, offering me water (which I didn't need), finding me a bathroom when I needed one, and taking my picture with both his AND my camera. And at the end, he walked me back to the garage where I had parked. He followed my pace (which is slow) and told me that many people use this tour as their first 5k, in order to gain confidence about the distance before doing an actual 5k race.
I highly recommend this tour to any runner who is in Boston, whether you are visiting or a resident. It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon. I really felt as though I got to taste the flavor of Boston, and was able to imagine myself in revolutionary times. Check him out if you're ever in Boston!