Thompson Island 4K Trail Run FAQ

Why did you change the course?

The run is in its 15th year and many of you have run it for multiple years. We wanted to add a bit more challenge and also show you a rarely seen part of our island. The addition of “Kettle Hill” doesn’t change the length of the course, just reroutes it. Plus runners will now have a chance to traverse through an ancient kettle hole created during the glacial period. Click here for a map of the course.

What is the course length?

This unique trail run is 4 kilometers, which is about 2.5 miles. You’ll have the opportunity to run through flat meadows, along beaches, and up a few hills – and new this year you get to run through an ancient kettle hole!

Is this a timed race?

Yes, all runners will be assigned a chip embedded bib and receive an official time when they finish the race.

What are the prize categories?

Our prize categories are as follows:

– First, Second, Third place for fastest male and female runners

– First, Second, Third place for the Corporate Team Challenge

– First place for the top Co-Ed Corporate Team Challenge team – top 3 male and top 3 female runner scores will create the team score.

What are the prizes?

The following will be provided to all individual winners and the top 10 fastest runners of the winning Corporate Team Challenge teams:

1st Place – a gold medal and a $100 New Balance gift certificate

2nd Place – a silver medal and a $75 New Balance gift certificate

3rd Place – a bronze medal and a $50 New Balance Gift certificate

The first place Corporate Team Challenge team will also win a trophy.

Co-Ed Team Winner

The top three male runners and top three female runners of the team will each receive a gold medal, a $100 gift certificate to the Tamo Restaurant in the Seaport Hotel, and the team will win a trophy.

I’m not a runner. Can I still participate in the race?
Of course, walkers are more then welcome to join us!

What if it rains?

It is always sunny on Thompson Island, but the event is rain or shine. The event site is covered and we have full locker room facilities.

How do I get to the ferry?

Most runners will board the ferries at Long Wharf. Directions can be found here: Long Wharf Directions

If you have received special instruction to take a ferry from the S. Boston EDIC dock, please contact the race director for directions.

Where do I park?

There are many parking options in the area of Long Wharf. Visit here for more information: Parking Options

Can I get there by Public Transportation?

Yes. Take the Blue Line to the Aquarium stop.

What time do I need to arrive?

With more than 1,000 runners we ask all participants to arrive at 3:30 pm, so that we can begin departing ferries promptly at 4:00 pm.

What if I miss the ferry?

Please come as early as possible. The only way to get to Thompson Island if you miss the ferries is to take a personal water taxi, which could cost you up to $100. We cannot offer refunds to those who miss the ferries.

Do I need a ticket to get on the ferry?

Your bib number is your ticket. If you are participating in the Corporate Team Challenge your team captain will distribute bib numbers prior to race day to all registered runners.


If you are participating as an individual runner, you can pick your bib up at the registration table (at Long Wharf) on race day beginning at 3:00pm.

Are there lockers or bag check available for my valuables?

We do not have lockers or a bag check. Please do not bring valuables. Personal belongings can be stored at the event site during the run, but Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

What is for dinner?

BBQ dinner (including burgers, dogs, veggie burgers, potato salad, watermelon, and cookies), Harpoon Beer and non-alcoholic drinks are included with your entry fee. No need to bring additional money with you!

Do I need to bring my own water?

Water is provided. You are welcome to bring additional non-alcoholic beverages.

Can I bring my kids?

Unfortunately this is an adult only event. All Participants must be 21 years old.

Can I bring my dog?

Animals are not allowed on Thompson Island. Please leave your wonderful pets at home.

I don’t want to run, can I come to watch?

We do not sell spectator tickets. You must have an assigned bib number to board the ferries to Thompson Island. We do not require all participants to run. As long as you have an assigned bib number you are welcome to attend.

Will there be onsite registration?

The Thompson Island 4k Trail Run is a sold out event. You must purchase your entry well in advance and be assigned a Bib number prior to the race.  We DO NOT offer onsite registration.

What time will we get home?

Ferries will begin departing from Thompson Island at 7:00pm. Runners can expect arrive back in Boston between 7:30pm and 8:00pm.

What if I miss the return ferry?

Not to worry, we will make sure all participants get on a ferry to get home!