The Boston Marathon’s finish line area was packed Sunday with runners and supporters from around the world. Runners in matching brightly colored tracksuits chatted with each other along the Boylston Street finish line while teams posed for photos.
More than 30,000 runners are expected to hit the road Monday for the 123rd Boston Marathon, leaving from the Hopkinton starting line at staggered times beginning at 9 a.m. The runners will likely have wet conditions as rain is expected to begin overnight Sunday and fall on and off until around 9 p.m. Monday.
But on Sunday some runners said they refused to let the rain put a damper on the race.
“If you worry about the weather, you’re just stressing yourself out,” Stephanie Rose, 27, of Denver said at the finish line Sunday. “So I figure, why worry about something you can’t control? Just hydrate and stay dry as long as you can.”
For many competitors, this will be their debut participating in the world-renowned event.
Nathaniel Lau, 27, and his running club traveled to Boston from Hong Kong to compete in the marathon for the first time.
“We’re all excited despite our jet lag,” Lau smiled as he and his teammates posed for a 360-degree photo at the finish line.
Lau said he has run marathons in Hong Kong, but he’s looking forward to the energy and excitement that Boston crowds bring to the sidelines.
“We know that Boston is a city that appreciates its marathon,” Lau said. “The crowds here support the marathon a lot and we’re ready to experience that tomorrow.”
Eric Travis, 46, of Winnipeg, Canada, said he will be running his first Boston Marathon, but he has had his eye on the race “for a long time.”
Although Travis has been competing in triathlons for 13 years, he only began marathon training a year and a half ago.
“I’m used to doing a lot more biking and swimming and a little bit of running,” he said as he stood near the Copley T stop. “So training for a marathon and then focusing on running at a higher pace takes a lot more time and motivational energy. The running is hard sometimes.”
Travis said he has especially enjoyed getting to know the other members of his group, which consists of members of the Canadian military.
“It’s a chance to get to know like-minded people that are also excited to be here and the energy is high,” Travis said.
Several athletes said they value running with a team.
Deborah Lazaroff, 63, of Jackson, Mich., will be running in the Boston Marathon for the 18th time and she said she’s excited to be participating with her team, called Black Sheep Run. Several members of Black Sheep Run will be running the Boston Marathon for the first time, Lazaroff said.
“I have been able to see a lot of these people in other marathons just work hard, chisel their times down, and actually accomplish the goal to be here,” Lazaroff said as the other three members of the group chatted in the finish line area. “My Black Sheep family is here, so what a celebration it is for me!”
Jetola Anderson-Blair, 57, who lives in Houston, has run the Boston Marathon before but she said this year is especially significant for her. She will be running with the National Black Marathon Association in its first year competing in Boston.
According to the group’s website, its mission is to “encourage Black Americans and others to pursue a healthy life-style through long distance running and walking.”
After she and three of her teammates posed for a selfie wearing matching pink jackets, she said, “We’ve never had this team here before so that makes it that much more exciting for us.”
Knowing she will soon be running the Boston Marathon with her team, she said, is “the most amazing feeling.”