By Dean Gillespie
When the 120th Boston Marathon began on Monday, Bostonians and people from around the world were ready to go before the runners started the race in Hopkinton. Fans were taking advantage of a beautiful day bright and early lining up at the finish line at 7 a.m. hoping to get a front row view of the runners crossing the finish line later in the afternoon. Hundreds of people were also lined up outside the restaurants on Boylston Street and all over the area hoping to get a seat before the establishments reached capacity.
“We opened our doors at 8 on Monday morning with a line outside,” said Becky Laloggero, manager of Whiskey’s on Boylston Street, a restaurant located right by the finish line. “We expect to be at capacity between now and late tonight.”
Down the street from the finish line, the Boston Red Sox were playing their annual Patriots Day game against the Toronto Blue Jays that started at 11 a.m. Fans were also out early to enjoy some food and beverage before the game, plus part of the Marathon was run through Kenmore Square where fans were also lining up to get a good view of the runners. The restaurants around Fenway Park also had huge lines out the door hours before the game and marathon started.
“We opened up at 8 this morning with a huge line out the door; we expect to be open until about 2 a.m. and during that time we expect over 1,000 people,” said Keith Reinfrank a manager at Lorettas Last Call, which is located on Lansdowne Street behind Fenway Park.
Reinfrank said the Marathon has a special place in his heart and that of Bostonians. “The Marathon brings people together and that’s what I love most about it.”
Three years have passed since the Marathon Bombings but it doesn’t stop Bostonians from going out and enjoying the day. Thousands of people wore T-shirts that read “Boston Strong,” a unifying phrase of that was created after the Marathon Bombings happened.
Along the Marathon route, Jennifer Smith from Kansas City was watching her husband, Jeff Mildner, compete in the world’s most famous footrace. Last year Mildner honored the victims of the Marathon Bombings by printing their initials on his running shoes.
“For my husband, the Boston Marathon symbolizes a commitment to training,” said Smith. It’s more than a race. It gives him motivation to train.”
The Boston Marathon remains one of the city’s most treasured sporting events and represents an opportunity for the competitors and their families to enjoy together this festive celebration of running, all 26 miles and 385 yards of it.