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Along The Boston Marathon Route: Wellesley

Wellesley scream tunnell
The Wellesley College "Scream Tunnel" (Image from Go-Pro camera worn by WBZ-TV's Phil Vaughn)

The Boston Marathon winds its way through eight Massachusetts cities and towns, including Wellesley, which is the halfway point of the race.

Wellesley College is one the best places to experience the spirit of the Boston Marathon. There, the famous "Scream Tunnel" echoes with the shrieks of Wellesley College co-eds, who get the day off from classes and come out en masse to line the marathon route waving posters, handing out water, screaming with delight, and even offering kisses for the runners

The "Scream Tunnel," which is about a quarter of a mile long, is so loud that it can be heard well before runners arrive.

"It seems like a half-mile out you begin to hear the crowd noise," said runner Phil Vaughn. "The first time it was a shock. I couldn't believe how many students there were and how loud they were."

"They're just so involved in the race. It feels like you're starting the race again because it gives you so much energy," he said.

The tradition of the "Scream Tunnel" began during the first Boston Marathon back in 1897, when Wellesley students "cheered on a particular favorite (a Harvard student), thus setting a precedent for vociferous support for the runners," according to the Wellesley College website.

As one former Wellesley Student said, "Marathon Monday ... is my favorite day of the year ... As part of a 100-year old tradition, classes are cancelled and the students spend the day cheering the runners as they pass our campus. Many runners say ...Wellesley is their favorite part of the race because of the enthusiasm of the campus community."

Mari DeAngelis is a freelance writer covering all things Boston. Her work can be found on

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