Esplanade 5K Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Participant Guide

Saturday, May 18 at 9:00am
DCR Hatch Shell

Thank you for registering for “Boston’s Most Beautiful 5K”! Your registrant information packet is below. If you have any other questions, please contact Kelsey Pramik at

Looking for your time? Find it here


8:00am- Registration & Packet pick-up at the DCR Hatch Shell
8:15am- Warm-up led by Lynx Fitness Club
9:00am- Race begins
9:45am- Presentation of awards
10:15am- After Party at the Liberty Hotel Lobby Bar
12:00pm– Owl’s Nest Esplanade beer garden opens


Please note that there is no public parking on the Esplanade and vehicles are not permitted in the park.

Blue Bikes

All runners are eligible to redeem a code good for a $1 Bluebikes ride. This code can be redeemed multiple times for your trip to-and-from packet pick-up and race day.

Discount Code redeemable in the Bluebikes app

– Download the app, select “Single Trip”
– Enter code BCBSMA5K before check out
– Ride!

Lyft will be offering a bike valet at the Bluebikes Mugar Way Station Station to make sure you have a spot to dock race day! Pick up a Bluebike at any station around Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville and return to a station located conveniently near the Hatch Shell. Find locations on the System Map or mobile app.


If entering by foot, you can take one of many footbridges to enter the park. They are all noted on this map.


Charles/MGH (red line) and Arlington (green line) are two of the closest MBTA stations to the park. Find all of the nearby stations on this map.


Recommended parking locations include Newbury Street lots or the Boston Common Garage.


Please direct rideshare vehicles to drop you on Beacon Street near Arlington Street. Cheers is a good reference spot. Once you’ve been dropped off, enter the park on foot via the Arlington St. footbridge.


Packet pick-up will take place on Thursday, May 16 from 5-8pm at the Marathon Sports at 671 Boylston Street and on Saturday, May 18 from 8:00am-8:45am at the DCR Hatch Shell.

No ID is required to pick-up your packet. You can pick up for friends/coworkers as long as you are able to provide their full names.


Day of registration will be $50 per person, payable via cash (exact change only), credit card, or Venmo.


The race takes a scenic route starting west from the DCR Hatch Shell (where the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular takes place each July 4), crossing onto the Esplanade islands, passing under the Mass Ave Bridge, and returning east via the Paul Dudley White Bike Path, parallel to Storrow Drive:


We will have markings spread behind the start line for the following race paces:
<6 minutes
6-7 minutes
7-8 minutes
8-9 minutes
9-10 minutes
10-11 minutes
11+ & walkers

Look for the signs and listen to the start line coordinator for instructions as to where to line up.

All strollers and dogs will be asked to start with the walkers, no matter the speed



Polar is generously providing the water for the course. Water will be available at the mid-way point of the race, as well as at the finish line.

There is a water fountain conveniently located near the Hatch Shell if you would like to refill your reusable water bottle.



At 8:15am before the run, Lynx Fitness Club’s Nicole Parolisi will lead all runners through a pre-run warm up. You will be taken through a sequence of dynamic stretches and warm up exercises that promote blood flow and oxygen to your muscles and help minimize stress on your heart. These movements will enhance the efficiency and flexibility of your muscles to help you run faster and safer during the race.

Nicole is a personal training coach and Director of Nutrition at Lynx Fitness Club, a luxury fitness facility in Back Bay that was named 2018 Best Fitness Club in Boston by Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston edition.


Do you have friends/family who aren’t runners but who would like to play a meaningful role in the day, cheering you on in the process? Encourage them to volunteer!

Volunteers should reach out to Karla Noboa at if they are interested in signing up for the day. Tasks may include staffing the water station, assisting with t-shirt pick-up, and monitoring the course. The time commitment will be roughly 8:30am to 10:30am.


Race day photos will be captured by professional sports photographer, Brent Doscher ( and shared in a Facebook album following the race.

Share your own photos at #Esplanade5K. Tag us on Instagram (@EsplanadeinBoston) or Facebook/Twitter (@EsplanadeBoston)


Prizes will be awarded to the top three female and male runners overall. Medals will be awarded to the top female and male finishers across various age brackets including Under 15, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and Over.

The ceremony will take place by the timing tent shortly following the conclusion of the race at 9:45am.


We will have a fenced area where participants can leave their bags watched over by a volunteer. It’s not as formal as a bag check, as there won’t be numbers assigned, but participants are welcome to leave their things there for the duration of the race.

Any items stored are at your own risk. We cannot guarantee their safety during the event.


The Liberty Hotel will be hosting us for an After Party beginning at 10:15am in their lobby bar. We will provide food for runners while supplies last and there will be a cash bar. Located at the foot of Beacon Hill, The Liberty Hotel is an imaginative transformation of the storied Charles Street Jail, a national historic landmark and architectural gem built in 1851.


Runners are invited to the Owl’s Nest Esplanade beer garden when it opens at noon. The Owl’s Nest features Night Shift beer, wine, cider, and non-alcoholic beverages, all in a beautiful setting overlooking the Charles River.


The Esplanade 5K Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the following: