On Monday morning, there will be another Boston Marathon, with thousands of runners making their way across a 26.2-mile course that covers seven municipalities.
The first race since last year’s bombings will be emotional, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox said. “There’s going to be happiness around, too, more than sadness because the way the city bounced back.”
While no one will forget the tragedy, this Patriots Day race will be a celebration of running and a beginning of a return to normalcy. This year’s race will be bigger, it will be more secure and, as always, there will be a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park along the way.
A few things to know, including how to watch the race outside Boston:
The field has increased by 9,000 to 36,000 runners and Boston Athletic Association organizers expect over a million spectators to line the course. This is not, though, the largest field; 38,000 runners partipated in the 100th race in 1996. There will be increased security, of course, with the challenges of guarding a lengthy course, although Boston Gov. Deval Patrick said Sunday on “Face the Nation” that there’d been no specific threats.
“Somebody said it may be the safest place in America…,” he said, “but I will say that we’ve tried to strike a balance between enhanced security and preserving the family feel of this day.”
Still, there are a number of marked differences this year, including the banning of bandits — runners who run without being registered. There are no plans to apprehend bandits, though, unless they violate the ban on bulky costumes or otherwise act up. There will be 3,500 police officers, double the usual number, along the course with some undercover, specially trained officers. At least 100 video cameras will monitor crowds.
There are important changes for spectators, who should carry their belongings in clear plastic bags rather than backpacks in order to avoid being searched. (The bombs last year were placed in dark backpacks.)
The race (see BAA.org’s map), begins for elite women at 9:32 a.m.; elite men and the first of three waves of runners follow at 10 a.m., with the last wave of runners off at 10:40. It will be carried live nationally on Universal Sports and streamed live on WBZ.com and UniversalSports.com and BAA.org.
As is the Patriots Day tradition, the Red Sox will play the Baltimore Orioles at 11:05 a.m. at Fenway Park.
Two years ago, race day was horridly hot; last year’s weather was perfect and this year’s should be as well. The forecast calls for temperatures in the high 40s at race time, rising to low 60s in the afternoon.
The field of celebrities will include former Patriots player Tedy Bruschi, “Today” co-host Natalie Morales, Jim Wahlberg (brother of Mark and Donnie) and Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block.
Last year, Lelisa Desisa Benti was the men’s winner, with Rita Jeptoo winning the women’s division for the second time in her career.
Related: Live updates from the race