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The Boston Marathon

April 20, 1970: At 6:07 p.m., in a chilling, persistent rain, Eugene Roberts, 24, of Baltimore crossed the finish line, almost seven hours after he “unofficially” began his remarkable race. Running along with Eugene was his twin brother, James, who drove him with up to Boston. Eugene had both legs amputated after his unit was hit by a howitzer in Vietnam in May 1966.

Bill Brett/Globe Staff

April 20, 1970: At 6:07 p.m., in a chilling, persistent rain, Eugene Roberts, 24, of Baltimore crossed the finish line, almost seven hours after he “unofficially” began his remarkable race. Running along with Eugene was his twin brother, James, who drove him with up to Boston. Eugene had both legs amputated after his unit was hit by a howitzer in Vietnam in May 1966.

Runners call the Boston Marathon spectators the best in the world. From the members of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in 1899 to the students from Wellesley College greeting runners with signs, screams, and kisses to families handing out orange slices and cups of water, Boston has always shown tremendous support for the runners along the route. This year, the first one after the bombings, officials expect at least a million people to watch the race — twice the usual number. — Thea Breite and Lisa Tuite

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