News Sports Top

Thousands cheer Boston Marathon racers

Hellen Obiri of Kenya, a two-time Olympic medalist and winner of the Boston Marathon women’s division this year and in 2023. (Shiara Naveen/YJI)

BOSTON – On a bright, warm Monday, thousands of people gathered to watch and cheer for runners participating in the 128th Boston Marathon.

Starting from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, racers covered 26.2 miles before reaching the finish line in Boston. 

Sho Watanbe who placed fourth in the men’s wheelchair division. (Shiara Naveen/YJI)

Since 1975, the Boston Marathon has included a wheelchair division and since then, the race has kicked off with wheelchair racers, while the start time for runners shortly after.

“I love the feeling of people coming from all over the country,” said Aram Russell, a student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. “It’s a big community.”

Among the diverse field of racers were also those who had physical or visual impairments.

Yuma Mori from Japan finished eighth in the men’s division. (Shiara Naveen/YJI)

Charles Brydges, from Suffield Connecticut, is a volunteer for the organization Achilles International. He ran the first 12 miles as a guide for runner Eric Strong, who is visually impaired.

“I got involved with Achilles through a friend I used to run with and overall I’ve had a great experience with it,” said Brydges, who said he and Strong each held onto a rope while they ran next to each other. He said handing the rope off to a fresh runner about halfway through wasn’t too different than passing a baton to a teammate.

Brydges was also watching his friend, Nate Davidson from Suffield Connecticut, run the marathon. He said the two were high school track teammates.

Tommy Fitzgerald and Charles Brydges, both of Suffield, Connecticut, watch for their friend to approach the finish line. (YJI photo)

According to the Boston Athletic Association, which hosts the marathon, participants came from exactly 127 countries and all 50 U.S. states, including Washington D.C. On top of that, ages ranged from 18 to 82 years old.
Watching the marathon has also inspired people to want to participate in the coming Boston marathons.

“My goal is to run a marathon, any marathon really, but I have a closer connection with the one in Boston since it’s a tradition for my family to come and watch,” said Margaret Carlsmit, a 17-year-old attending Chapel Hill Chauncey Hall, a boarding school in Waltham, Massachusetts. 

Emma Bates, an American long-distance runner who finished in 12th place. (Shiara Naveen/YJI)
Jay Menze watched the Boston Marathon with friends. (Shiara Naveen/YJI)

But for many, witnessing the marathon was a first-time experience that left a lasting impression.

Originally from Minnesota, Jay Menze is a freshman at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She described what she felt, considering that the Boston Marathon is the first event she’s been to with a lot of people around.

“The energy of the crowd is so fun and I loved how when the runners were inconsistently coming, you could hear the cheers from miles away so you knew someone was coming,” said Menze. “This is my first year coming, but I don’t think it will be my last.”

Shiara Naveen is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

Leave a Comment