By Leighah Beausoleil
Once again, bells rang and people cheered as participants in the 125th Boston Marathon made their way through downtown Framingham, Massachusetts Oct. 11 after the race’s year-and-a-half in-person absence.
With participants from all 50 states and 87 countries, the race was limited to 20,000 people – 10,000 fewer than its regular field size, according to the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) website.
A virtual race took place Oct. 8-10, allowing for an additional 70,000 people to participate in the year’s event, according to the B.A.A.
Hundreds of people lined themselves down Waverly Street in Framingham to cheer on the competitors. The excitement of the day was apparent as people clanged bells and waved colorful signs.
Some of those in the crowd waited with anticipation for their loved ones to pass through, with 46 of the race’s participants being Framingham residents, according to the B.A.A.
Signs swayed with cut outs of people’s faces, words of encouragement, racing puns, and in memory of the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, the slogan “Boston Strong.”
At the sixth-mile mark, volunteers stationed themselves along the road armed with cups of water and Gatorade to refuel the racers. The sheer size of the day’s event was clear as hundreds of paper cups covered the street.
Further along Waverly Street, music rang loudly as a radio DJ energized the crowd. Reaching out for high Ives and speaking words of motivation, he said, “Boston, Boston, we missed you.”
This year’s marathon winners include Marcel Hug and Manuela Schär, both of Switzerland, for the men’s and women’s wheelchair categories, respectively, as well as Benson Kipruto and Diana Chemtai Kipyogei, both of Kenya, for the men’s and women’s elite categories, respectively, according to The Boston Globe.