Drumming for the Boston Marathon 2014

Video of DrumConnection Drummers at the BAA Boston Marathon 2011. This is our 20th year!

You are enthusiastically invited to join the amazing, annual, awesome...

Boston Marathon
DrumConnection at Boston Marathon 2011

This is the 14th year we've been drumming at the start of Heartbreak Hill, organized by DrumConnection's John Tracy and drummers from DrumConnection. 20 years in total; We've been there - supporting! There are usually about fifty - seventy drummers.


Runners say it's the highlight of their trip. Some even like us so much they stop a moment to try the drums! True! 
Onlookers smile, police and military wave, TV cameras pass by, children dance.
 Really special! Don't miss it!


It helps if you RSVP. You can do that HERE.


No drums? We will have a few extra, and people will share.






What you need so you can get there without stress or parking problems, and be there right at the drumming spot, with an easy route out for when you leave.



This is an important year for us to be there to show community support and support the runners. If you have been here before you KNOW how much it matters to have us with them!


We have spent much time with security officials, the BAA and local police about how to manage this year. We need to minimize stress to security people and remain welcome for future years. At anytime, the Police may ask us to leave and they reserve that right. They have been clear through the BAA Director's issue.



Yes, that's what is being asked of you. If you show up with a drum bag, we will have to ask you to bring the bag back to your car, if you have a car.


1 - Liter of Liquid allowed.

2 - Fanny pack (small) allowed.

3 - Armbands and Cell Phones allowed



• NO Backpacks, any similar item carried over the shoulder, or handbags of any size.

• NO Glass containers.

• NO container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.

• NO Strollers, including baby strollers.

• NO Suitcases & rolling bags.

• NO Personal hydration system products (such as CamelBak®, Thor®, etc).

• NO Weight vests or any sort of vest with pockets (Note: lightweight running vests are allowable).

• NO Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.

• NO Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire/gear and signs or flags larger than 11 inches x 17 inches).

• NO items larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches. 


Please note: security at each location will have the authority to disallow other products or materials that it deems inappropriate. 
If you do NOT follow the rules, we will ask you to COMPLY with the rules as stated above and below. We suggest that you share this with anyone's who may be coming so that they are aware and can plan accordingly:


• PLEASE do NOT bring drum bags, backpacks, coolers or any bags that could appear as a threat. Latest bulletins also say NO blankets or quilts. Please use common sense and avoid any objects that would cause concern.


• CAREFULLY review maps of the area. This year Chestnut St. will be blocked at 7:00 AM. At the rte 9 side, at Beacon, about 1/4 mile from the intersection. On the other side of Commonwealth Ave. Chestnut St. will be blocked about one block from Commonwealth. Police say you can park up to 60 ft. of Commonwealth Ave (rte 30).  Our advice is to get on the local streets off Beacon and navigate to a side road close to our spot. On the other side, there are local roads off Chestnut at point it is closed, or shortly before.


• We respect the community: This means we play for awhile, then take breaks, where everyone is quiet. Nonstop loud drumming (drums are loud) can be annoying and stressful. Taking breaks makes it better, and we remain welcome for future years, and make it easier for officials.


 We set aside a private area near the corner of Chestnut St. and Commonwelth Ave. (rte 30) in Newton.
One good approach is to enter local roads near Chestnut St. at Beacon St.


 Get there early and avoid traffic and get through to park. Worth the effort. Yes. I know.
The first group, wheelchairs, arrive at our spot at about 10:17
Plan to be there around 9:00!!
 Actually, anytime is fine but if you beat the traffic life is better and you get a closer parking spot. I get there really early, find a nice close parking spot, relax, read, then set up our area.


MBTA: You can avoid parking, and take the GREEN LINE to the WABAN stop. This is the last one before end at Riverside terminal. It is a walk of about 15 minutes to the drumming spot.

What to Bring:
 A drum. No drum? This is a long event, and people are confortable stopping awhile and letting others borrow their drums.. Yeah - bring non-drumming friends. ...it's always a fun celebration.


• A folding chair. The cheap metal ones are best, and bring a cushion. The canvas chairs are too low and at wrong angle for comfortable drumming. 

• Or drum strap.

• Water 1 Liter

• Snacks hand carried or in a clear plastic bag
• Maybe suntan lotion (I hope! .. This day often surprises. Can be cold and gray, can be very hot and sunny)


Yes, there are porta potties!


RAIN?? ... Drums don't like rain. If it rains steadily we will not be there.
 But remember, if there is a chance of rain, have a plastic trash bag in pocket to protect your drum.




1) For the best experience, so we sound good and are welcomed by the onlookers, we should mostly play simple rhythms so everyone can connect. We need to be CLEAR and simple.  Fine to add an occasional solo if it is clear and fits with the rhythm.


2) Those who can lead know who they are - and all are welcome to take responsibility.


3) Essential to STOP for periods of quiet. No drumming.  We have found it is important for the crowds. Non-stop drumming is an irritant, people complain, we risk losing the privilege. SO - when we stop - everyone stops. Yes - if a key runner or group comes by and waves, when we are quiet, we could do a quick roll, but then return to being quiet.


ANY questions - call me anytime  617-967-2962 - 
John Tracy


We'd like to share this with all the drummers who will be there this year and those who were with us last year. A photo essay of last year 2013 BAA Marathon.


Survivors and responders return to the finish line, and stand strong.