A mild Monday greeted runners in the 2016 Boston Marathon, as thousands hit the streets in the 120th installment of the race.
The occasion once again brought out the race day rituals that make ita highlight of Bostonians’ calendars and the unofficial start to spring: from the scream tunnel kisses and high fives to the surreptitious drinking and cheeky signs about joggers moving faster than the T.
Three years after the attacks that disrupted that tradition and wounded so many, the “Boston Strong” slogan appears to still have staying power. There it was on countless T-shirts and signs again this year. A massive blue-and-yellow “Boston Strong” banner flapped in the wind at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Another one in paint greeted Marathoners on a Commonwealth Avenue overpass.
Crews from “Patriots Day,” the Mark Wahlberg movie depicting the events surrounding the bombings, were filming along the race route this year. Spectators spotted Wahlberg himself on race day surveying the crowds in his character’s Boston cop outfit.
As promised, security was tight, and many fans found themselves waiting in long lines to get through checkpoints on sidewalks.
Long line of people waiting to get through a security checkpoint that hasn't budged. pic.twitter.com/cW8N6wBviV— Zachary Comeau (@ZComeau_MDN) April 18, 2016
Many of the runners this year were survivors of the bombings. In one photo that made the rounds on Twitter Monday, survivor Patrick Downes at race’s end embraced Bill Richard, whose son Martin died three years ago.
Other photos captured quintessential Marathon moments, like when two runners draped the arms of a fellow Marathoner over their shoulders and carried him past the Boylston Street grandstands.
By late afternoon, the last of roughly 30,000 runners were crossing the big blue line, draping themselves in space blankets and taking time to wind down. At least until training starts for Marathon 121.