Dixie Douville’s Famous Boston Marathon Profile with NEW Running Bucket Playlist

From the archives…

Dixie Douville is a former member of the Spinning® master instructor team as well as a former Spin Pilates master instructor. She has run 23 marathons, including Boston eight times. Dixie is also a USA Track and Field certified coach and a certified coach with Road Runners Club of America. She has been a contributor at ICA as well as for both of our Indoor Cycling Summits.

Dixie first presented this Boston Marathon ride at WSSC in the mid-2000s, and it quickly became one of the iconic, empowering sessions instructors spoke about across the country. I was thrilled when she agreed to write it up for ICA members! You are in for a treat!

Here is how Dixie introduces this profile:

For many marathon runners, the ultimate goal is to run fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I am privileged to have run it eight times (out of the 23 marathons I have run). Since I went to college just north of Boston, I have been a spectator at the race many times. My first Boston marathon was in 1995 and is when I set my PR. I am fortunate to have shared this race experience with many of my running friends. Being a New Englander, there is nothing like running 26.2 miles through the Boston suburbs and finishing at the Prudential Center, one of Boston’s iconic modern landmarks.

In the spring of 1997, my family was living outside of Chicago and one of my indoor cycling students (we’ll call her Lori) had qualified for Boston. As a way to celebrate Lori’s accomplishment and give her a powerful—and what turned out to be a very emotional—send-off the week before the race, I developed a profile based on the course. I filled it with the intensity and the rich history of the Boston Marathon. At the end of the class, there were tears, laurel wreath crowns fashioned from the local craft store, and one of my medals around Lori’s neck. The response was so overwhelming, it became a signature profile for me and my students ask for it annually.

As I approach my 17th season of this ride, I have changed a few things, including some of the songs, but one thing that has not changed is my passion for the sport, the race, and the Boston experience. Take your students to the Boston Marathon and give them a sense of one of the greatest races in the world!


  1. A little late sharing some positive feedback. This ICA inspired class was one of my shining moments on the podium. The detailed notes and a little extra googling gave me the confidence to narrate a course that was just vaguely familiar to me. I made a few music changes to make the class my own. I opened with ‘Heroes’ by Alesso, featuring Tove Lo. I swapped in ‘If I Lose Myself’ by Alsesso and One Republic and ‘Right Here Right Now’ by Fatby Slim as the finishing songs before we all enjoyed a ‘Sweet Caroline’ sing along during the cool down (‘So good / so good’).

  2. I used the profile and slightly modified playlist this am and the class loved it! I went to college in Boston, so I was able to really get into the visual cuing as well as use Dixie’s ideas! Thank you!

  3. I replaced Titans Spirit with Phantom of the Opera Medley by Lindsey Stirling and My Delirium by Ladyhawke. In Delirium, there’s a 30 sec pause with meditative-type music at 2:38 where I will cue people to re-focus, re-group and get ready to cross finish line in next song!

  4. Quick note for those considering this profile. I couldn’t find a legal source of Titans Spirit for purchase from Canada. I chose to swap out it and Riverdance for We’re Better Than This (Parts 1, 2 and 3) by the same composer from the soundtrack to Gridiron Gang. There are good breaks in the music in the third part that correspond nicely to Dixie’s cues.

    1. Author

      Thanks Christine for the song suggestion to replace Titans Spirit. I couldn’t find it here in the US either. I wonder if it used to be available and no longer is. I can’t find it anywhere, but it’s awesome on Youtube!

      1. Yes, I listened to it on Youtube and would love to find a copy someday.

  5. Thank you for this. I grew up in Concord and lived there when Patriot’s Day and the Marathon took place on the real date, April 19th. After my band marched in the parade we always went to the Old North Bridge for the re-enactment and then headed off to watch the race. Several people will be missing from my classes this weekend and early next week because they are running Boston. The rest of us will enjoy this profile.

  6. This makes me feel like I was back in Boston at the race! Thank you!

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