One if by Land

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Boston Unsanctioned: The Paul Revere Classic

The Paul Revere Classic wasn’t my idea. While working for the community team at Tracksmith in 2018, my mentor Lou Serafini planned the first attempt in recent history of a point-to-point Boston marathon relay. Sparked by Eliud Kipchoge’s historic sub-2:00 attempt in Monza, we set our sights on breaking the two-hour barrier with five strong Boston harriers. We planned to go Monday morning before the world woke, but that particular year and the ensuing monsoon put the kibosh on our plans.

Ever since we sent the text calling the project off in 2018, it’s been in the back of my mind to revisit the concept.

Time goes by and the landscape changes. We’re building Brick Layers Union, a running collective in Boston. A core tenet of BLU programming is focused on out-of-the-box relays. We all love running but, after years of the PR-optimisation mindset, we’re now interested in making and keeping running fun.

“The goal was to get from point A to point B and have fun while doing it. And I apologise for sounding corny, but maybe it’s all about the friends we make along the way.”

Ben Weingart

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We kicked the idea back and forth, pulling inspiration from the legendary relays of our era (for example, The Speed Project, Hood to Coast), hoping to graft some of their magic onto the Boston Marathon weekend.

As we were talking through logistics, we realised that this project sounded too fun to do alone. Enter Tim Rossi and the Lostboys. Tim has been a surrogate older brother to me, specialising in vibes. We figured the leader of Lost would be a perfect fit for this off-the-cuff expedition. Big surprise, he was mega-stokedTM.


We sat down and ironed out the event guidelines:

  • Running the full Boston Marathon course the night before the official event.
  • Teams of five runners each, because they fit ideally in a normal sized car.
  • DIY format – 26.2 miles that can be split up any way the teams choose.*
  • *Except for the last leg. That has to be at least two miles.
  • That’s pretty much it.

“Okay, got it. So why is it called the Paul Revere Classic?”

Literally no reason. Because it makes us laugh, I guess. You could make the case that because we’re on the course before the marathoners there’s some significance. Mostly it’s because I think our event slogan “One if by land, two if also by land” is just funny.

[Editor’s note: Down Under readers who need a crash course in American War of Independence history and Revere’s famous midnight ride should head here.]


With the pieces assembled, we kicked off our first year. BLU vs Lostboys in ’23. It was a learning year, when we realised that pulling something like this off is possible. This year we scaled up, inviting teams who reached out after last year’s race. We were joined by Outta Pocket from Florida, Dirty Bird out of NYC, and 4th Street Athletics from all over the place.

This year we’re staggering start times so that, hopefully, all of our teams could reach the finish line on Boylston between 8pm and 8.30pm. One of the BLU teams was the overall time winner, but that’s not really the point. The goal was to get from point A to point B and have fun while doing it. And I apologise for sounding corny, but maybe it’s all about the friends we make along the way – sorry, couldn’t help myself.


Running can be the great equaliser. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your goals are; we all can find solidarity in taking the same steps – leg after leg. The core of the PRC is to claim ownership of the sport by bringing like-minded runners together to chase an arbitrary goal. There is something innately beautiful, to quote Tim, in “ripping for the sake of ripping”.


I wrote the first draft of these notes in the trunk of my car while I was waiting to drive out to the start line at Hopkinton for the first of two round trips this holiday weekend (one by car, one by foot). Sitting there, I couldn’t help but beam as I felt my appreciation for this sport. Planning and executing these relays is such a weird hobby to have developed in my late 20s, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing and no-one I’d rather be doing it with.

With love,

Ben Weingart
Brick Layers Union

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