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Faces at the Start Line

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Three hundred and sixty four days a year, Hopkinton is a fairly quiet town. But every year on Patriots’ Day, tens of thousands of people pack into the town common to witness one of the most historic marathons in the world.

One fan was overheard saying “This might be the biggest event going on in the world today”. And he was likely right.

From first-time runners to longtime volunteers, the start line in Hopkinton brings out the best in people from all across the world.

The Runners

This year, 29,451 participants entered to run in the 128th Boston Marathon, 26,596 of whom crossed the start line in Hopkinton – nearly double the number of residents of the town. Of the 29,451 entries, 16,803 were men, 12,595 women, and there were 53 non-binary entrants. They represented 129 countries and all 50 U.S. States.

Roman Fosti

Roman Fosti, 40, is from Estonia and ran in the elite runner’s wave.  He said this is his first major world marathon and his 30th career marathon. Fosti finished 10th place in the Men’s 40-44 division with a time of 2:29:44.

From L-R: Mauricio Juarez, Noe Rivas, and David Lee

Juarez, Rivas, and Lee are members of Team Catapult and are from Houston, Texas. Juarez has run at least 12 marathons and this was his fifth marathon running as a guide.

Lee has run 10 marathons and this was his third marathon running as a guide. Both men said they have been friends and running together for years, but this is the first marathon they ran together as the guide for another longtime friend, Rivas.

“It’s a dream,” Juraez said.

Lee became a guide because he wanted to pay it back to his community. “It is a rewarding feeling to be able to guide a para athlete,” he said.

Juarez and Rivas crossed the finish line together with a time of 5:25:12.

From L-R: Jordan and Scott Weisberg

Jordan and Scott are from Birmingham, Alabama and this was Jordan’s first time running the Boston Marathon.

Scott, who finished three seconds before the explosions during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, ran the Boston Marathon for his 12th time yesterday.

The father and son duo finished the marathon together with a time of 8:10:37.

Zach Bilotta, a New Hampshire State Trooper

Zach Bilotta is a Police Officer with the New Hampshire State Police, and he ran to raise money for Cops for Kids with Cancer.

Bilotta was just one of thousands of runners who raised money for charities. 

According to the B.A.A., the goal of $50 million was raised for 168 non-profits who are a part of the Bank of America Boston Marathon Official Charity Program.

Bilotta said this is his fourth time running the Boston Marathon and has also ran the Walt Disney World Marathon. Before he began, Bilotta said, “It’s great weather for a good run.” He finished with a time of 4:32:12.

The Volunteers

While the runners are the main event of the historic day, the race is not complete without the 9,900 volunteers – many of whom call Hopkinton home. Of the 9,000, there were 1,900 medical volunteers providing care at 30 stations across the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

As tens of thousands of runners enter Hopkinton, they are greeted by friendly volunteers, who work to corral the runners and divide them by waves, a key aspect of organization to smoothly send the runners on their way.

From L-R: HHS Girl’s Track Coach Jean Cann, with Lou Mangiat and Christine DeLuca

Coach Cann said this is her 11th year as a volunteer. Lou Mangiat has been retired for more than 10 years and has been volunteering since then, and Christine DeLuca has volunteered for seven.

The Spectators

Each step the runners take is lined with spectators cheering them on.

From a DJ playing music as runners line up to the start line, to the overwhelming masses surrounding the finish line at Boylston Street in Boston, fans assemble from all around the world to cheer on runners with applause, music, and even cowbells. 

In Hopkinton, the party starts with Chase Hurley, also known as DJsnap, who perches outside Central Public House on Main Street in Hopkinton. This is the 14-year-old’s fourth year playing music for the runners as they line up on Main Street.

This year, fans were treated to a course record, an historic pace at halfway, possible Olympic berths on the line, and the largest pack of women at 20 miles the race has ever seen. The 128th Boston Marathon offered drama at every turn as more than 26,000 starters made their way from Hopkinton to Boston, cheered by huge crowds on a dry, sunny spring Patriots’ Day.

And It All Starts Here.

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