On Patriots' Day, Massachusetts commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, two extremely important battles in our nation’s history.
But Patriots Day doubles as another important day in New England: Marathon Monday.
Yes, the 120th running of the Boston Marathon is here, which means a lot of people’s minds go from muskets to sneakers as they head to the Marathon route to either run the grueling 26.2-mile race, or cheer on the ones who do. It is, after all, New England’s most popular event for spectators.
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Let’s take a look at some of the top spots to watch the race on what should be a sunny Monday.
Hopkinton: Where it all begins. You won’t find the thousands of runners with more energy than they have at this point. Smiles all around as the quest for 26.2-miles begin. Elite Women begin at 9:32 a.m. while Elite Men and Wave One begin at 10:00 a.m. Don’t be late – they’re fast.
This might be – OK, it definitely is – the loudest part of the route for runners. The Wellesley women go above and beyond in cheering on race participants around the halfway point in the race. Feeling energetic? Hit up this area and be sure to bring throat lozenges. The “Scream Tunnel” got that name for a reason, ya know.
The infamous Heartbreak Hill has been known to knock runners down a peg or two . . . or six. It’s the hardest part of the course, and the most rewarding once at the top. If a runner ever needed motivation, it’s here.
Ready to party? Boylston Street is where it’s at. The street is lined all the way down as runners finish up the final 0.2 miles of their race and cross the finish line with their arms raised. Hit up one of the many watering holes and continue the celebration from there.
With the Olympics this summer, many of the top Americans will not be running in the Boston Marathon, including 2014 winner Meb Keflezighi. But be on the lookout for these runners.
Lelisa Desisa, Ethiopia
He’s won two of the last three Boston Marathons, including last years and looks to be the favorite this year. He’s considered one of if not the best marathon runner right now.
Wilson Chebet, Kenya
This will be Chebet’s fourth Boston Marathon, as he’s finished fifth, second, and third in his past three.
Caroline Rotich, Kenya
Like Desisa, Rotich is looking to defend her crown this year. Rita Jeptoo won back-to-back Boston Marathons in 2013 and 2014, but she tested positive for a banned substance.
Buzunesh Deba, Ethiopia/Bronx, NY
Deba has tasted victory in each of her last two Boston Marathons, finishing third and second, respectively, over her last two. Is this the year?