Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

2024 Boston Marathon: Stories racing to and beyond the finish line

Rian Nelson
More than 30,000 runners from over 100 countries are registered to run in the 128th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Staff)

More than 30,000 athletes from all across the world will take on the 26.2-mile course through Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston on Marathon Monday. 

Follow along as Beacon reporters cover the marathon throughout the day.

Read all the Beacon’s Marathon coverage

Hearts don’t break around here: Family support at Heartbreak Hill — 4:18 p.m. 

By Emma Siebold

Cowbell in hand, Ying Lu cheered on the hundreds of runners as they reached the peak of Heartbreak Hill. The Newton hills between miles 20 and 21 are some of the toughest legs of the race.

She’s cheered on her husband at over 14 marathons, including Berlin, Geneva, and New York. When asked about what makes Boston special, Lu said “the hills.”

Emerson Freshman Madison McMahon hugs her soon-to-be aunt Camille Ybanez at Heartbreak Hill on Monday, April 15, 2024. Ybanez was a runner for Boston Children’s Hospital, which provided life-saving care for her nephew. (Emma Siebold/Beacon Staff)

Freshman Madison McMahon cheered on her soon-to-be aunt Camille Ybanez, who is marrying her uncle in less than two weeks.

She and McMahon’s uncle Chuck met right before the pandemic and moved in together during COVID-19 quarantine. McMahon said this brought her closer to the family.

“She’s always made such an effort to know me,” McMahon said. “I’m really excited that I can support her here with something that she’s passionate about.”

Ybanez is a charity runner for Boston’s Children’s Hospital, where her nephew Aydin received life-saving care when he had COVID-19.

“I run out of gratitude and thanks for the life-saving care BCH provided for Aydin and all that it does to ensure the health and well-being of its young patients,” Ybanez posted on Facebook.

The two shared an emotional embrace as Ybanez reached the summit of Heartbreak Hill at mile 21.

“It was pure joy,” McMahon said. “It was nice to see her in her element. I was happy that I could give her some relief. My whole family is tracking her on the app back home, but I’m sure it was nice for her to see me.”

Medical support staff aid runners facing dehydration and injuries — 3:25 p.m.

By DJ Mara

Medical support staff and volunteers have been tasked with aiding marathon runners facing dehydration, unhurried, and other complications throughout the day. 

Ethan, a student at Boston University originally from Wisconsin, served as a non-licensed volunteer on the wheelchair sweep team. Their fleet of volunteers transports runners who are injured or need medical attention to the first aid tents along the marathon route. 

There have been reports that runners have experienced dehydration as a result of the weather conditions throughout the day. 

“[This year’s pace] seems to be faster than last year in the rain,” Ethan said. “Still, runners are exhausted, and people told me that runners are dropping left and right along the route because they are in the sun the entire time.” 

Ethan additionally noted that many runners have salt deposits on their bodies and clothing, likely due to the weather conditions. 

“I had never seen salt deposits on people’s faces and salt stains on clothing before,” Ethan said. “This is absolutely due to the dehydration.”

Hope at the halfway mark: The charity stations of Wellesley Center — 2:44 p.m.

By Sam Shipman and Bryan Hecht

In the summer of 2016, 27-year-old Vanessa T. Marcotte left her home to go for a run. She never returned. 

Marcotte was murdered, a victim of a fatal assault by a man, and her story sparked the creation of the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation, a charity organization devoted to reducing objectification, harassment, and violence towards women, promoting gender equality and female empowerment, and general runner safety. 

“[Vanessa] loved to run, [so] a lot of our fundraising revolves around running,” said Kristen Dreyer, the program manager for the foundation’s marathon team which appeared in the 2024 Boston Marathon.

Every year, the foundation hosts a team of charity runners to run in the Boston Marathon. This year they located their main aid station tent on the outskirts of Wellesley Center, just a stone’s throw away from the all-women’s Wellesley College campus.

“The foundation is happy to be out here today,” said Melissa Bowman, executive director of the foundation. “Anyone’s welcome to help themselves to [the]…aid station, including our team, of course.”

Bowman has been a part of the foundation and its marathon efforts since their inception seven years ago and feels a sense of pride and enthusiasm being involved in the marathon.

“I think it’s a great community feeling for all of Boston. All of Boston really comes together and carries these runners for 26 miles and cheers them on every step of the way, and we…get to be a small part of that,” Bowman said.

The Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation, a charity against harassment and violence towards women, hosts a runner’s aid station between Wellesley College and Wellesley Center at the half-marathon mark of the race. (Nick Peace for the Beacon)

Further down the center is another aid tent serving the Corey C. Griffin Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organization engaged in philanthropy to benefit Boston-area children through faith-based healthcare and education initiatives. The foundation hosted a team of 17 runners in the 2024 marathon, with all fundraising going to their variety of causes.

“We are thrilled because each runner has to raise a minimum of $10,000. We grant [that money] out to our eight program partners like Franciscan Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Ron Burton Training Village, and the St. John Paul Academy schools,” explained Chandra Clark, president of the foundation.

Clark is new to Boston having moved to the city two years ago, but she is fully bought in on the marathon excitement. 

“It’s [really] interesting because the night before you’re so excited, so you don’t get a lot of sleep. We get out at eight in the morning, set out our tent and all of our refreshments for our runners and volunteers, and then we stay throughout the whole day from start to finish to cheer on our team.”

For Clark, the marathon provides a profound parallel to her non-profit work beyond the funds it is able to raise.

“I think for anyone who does this work in philanthropy, especially with the kids we serve…[it connects well to running as watching] people go through adverse circumstances and this marathon reminds everyone that you can overcome anything,” Clark said. “It really shows the power of persistence and resilience and that is my favorite part of the marathon.”

The Corey C. Griffin Foundation, a non-profit supporting the development of Boston-area children, has an aid station in Wellesley Center. (Nick Peace for the Beacon)

“Boston is the gold standard”: Experiences — and emotions — at the finish line — 2:24 p.m.

By Olivia LeDuc 

For a portion of the course, Will Leonard said he ran adjacent with another runner wearing a banana suit costume. At first, he mistakenly thought the spectator cheers for the banana runner were for him because of the fluorescent yellow shirt he was sporting.

“For a while, [the banana runner] was behind me and [spectators along the course] were saying ‘Go banana!’ I was like, well, I’m really happy now. Maybe it’s me,” Leonard recalled, before the runner gained a foothold ahead of him. “Not right.”

Despite the mix up, Leonard said this type of energy from the crowd is what pushed him through finishing his first ever Boston Marathon.

“The people really know when to when to give you some help. They can tell,” Leonard said. He especially loved the spectators who had used a noise-making crank, or “cranking” runners up the hill. 

Leonard is a senior environmental engineering major at Harvard University. Originally from Portland, Oregon, he has run two marathons before Boston. He said the Boston Marathon, the “gold standard” of marathons, was an unforgettable experience as he approaches graduating in the city that is his second home.

“This is really exciting for me because it’s the culmination of my college [career]. I graduate in a month. [Running the marathon] is like the last big accomplishment of college,” Leonard said. 

“I think I will remember it fondly,” Leonard continued. “At least in a couple of days,” he added, laughing, because of the amount of pain and soreness his body felt.

“It’s our tradition now”: Love at the finish line — 2:07 p.m.

By Olivia LeDuc 

Situated on the corner between Stuart Street and Trinity Plaza, Hiro Ono waits for his wife. 

It was in this spot where, in 2021, Ono, 34, proposed to his wife, Judy, after he ran his second Boston Marathon. 

“It was a long time coming,” the Pennsylvania resident said. “She has been with me through the whole process and preparing [for the marathon]. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to propose here.”

Now, Ono said, it is tradition for him and his wife to meet in the spot where their engagement began, and love story continues. Today’s race was Ono’s fourth Boston Marathon, and it’s what he looks forward to every year. 

“It all started here,” Ono said. The couple has a newborn baby on the way.

Blood, sweat, and screams: scenes from the Wellesley College Scream Tunnel — 1:59 p.m.

By Bryan Hecht

A cacophony of echoing yells and chants can be heard for over a mile by runners approaching the halfway point of the Boston Marathon in Wellesley Center. The cause: the women of Wellesley College who every year don school colors, festively suggestive and cheeky signage famously urging runners to kiss them, and their best set of windpipe, to line up in the hundreds along Central Street for what is known as the Scream Tunnel.

“It’s super fun, the energy is great,” said Wellesley senior Jessica Lin who was out with her friends forming a part of the tunnel. 

Lin and her group of friends were one of hundreds of Wellesley students flocking the marathon barricade and the college’s large grassy quad to participate in the festivities of the day. 

The quad was also populated with a bouncy castle and tables from Wellesley’s Health and Wellness Center, distributing balloons to students. Another table was sponsored by the period products company Cora, which was handing out their products and pink inflatable thunder sticks for students to use in the Scream Tunnel. Wellesley, an all-women’s college, is their only sponsored location along the marathon route. 

Dana Cohen, Cora’s chief marketing officer who was there to pass out products and sticks on the quad, said the choice to come to Wellesley was to promote feminine hygiene and wellness in the spirit of celebrating health that pervades the marathon event.

“It’s the best spot along the course to support runners and to show them how much we care about them, and you can just hear the energy here,” Cohen said. “I think it’s been kind of surprising [to people] to have period care products [being handed] out here at the race, but the reception has been amazing and people seem really excited to see us.”

Marathon runners encounter the Wellesley Scream Tunnel, a line of hundreds of students screaming and waving signs that can be heard for over a mile, as they approach the half marathon mark on Central Street on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Nick Peace for the Beacon)

Sarah Mohs is a Holden native who came out to Wellesley along with her teenage daughter to cheer on friends and colleagues who are running the race with a custom sign and a smile. This is their second year coming to the event.

“We know about four [participants]. We started in Framingham and rooted for many people there, then took the commuter line in [to] Wellesley and now we’re going to go down to the finish,” Mohs said.

Mohs was instantly attracted to the energy of the Scream Tunnel. “It’s amazing. It’s an exciting spot. I was high-fiving lots of the runners. It’s energetic,” Mohs said.

Lin said this year boasted the wildest scream tunnel she has experienced in her time at the college.

“Last year was raining so there were less people and then sophomore year was kind of like this but not as wild [because of COVID],” she said

Marilyn Brison also came down to Central Street to enjoy the energy and cheer on her niece Ashley Coberly, a runner from Washington State in her first marathon run.

“I’m very excited for her. She’s trained and worked hard to do this to get here,” Brison said and explained she picked this spot because of its spirit. “I told her [I’d be on] the sidelines right after the girls got done screaming from Wellesley College…it’s awesome.”

Brison who has never experienced the Scream Tunnel or the marathon spectating experience before this year, had positive things to say about the atmosphere around the half-marathon mark.

“The kids are smiling and it gives them an extra boost to everybody that’s running,” Brison said.

Representing the Navajo Nation — 1:07 p.m.

By Hannah Nguyen

Patterson Yazzie III hung a WWE belt proudly over his shoulder after passing the finish line.

“I’m a big WWE fan,” Yazzie said. “They’re just coming off the biggest WrestleMania of the year — WrestleMania 40. It just means a lot to me because I stand out from the crowd. I’m someone that likes to put myself out there, someone that likes to separate myself from others just trying to show them that it’s okay to be yourself.”

Coming from Gallup, New Mexico, Yazzie, 23, ran the race to represent the Navajo Nation. 

“I have the entire Navajo Nation that looked up to me,” Yazzie said. “… I do it for them. I do it for myself. I do it for my family. That’s why I have this belt today because when someone has this belt in the WWE, it means that they’re the top guy. I consider myself a top guy.”

His family also came to support him.

“It really means a lot to me just because they are my foundation,” Yazzie said. “They mean so much to me.”

A journalism major at the University of New Mexico, today’s race is his third Boston Marathon in a row. Despite not reaching his goal of under 2:40:00, he still reached a personal record of 2:41:15, beating his original time from last year.

“I’m really proud,” Yazzie said. “I got out there and did what I had to do.”  

Running saved his life, Yazzie said. When he was badly bullied in 2017, he turned to running for comfort.

“It got so bad one year in high school and it almost took my life, but this sport saved me in a sense that I went out there, I ran three miles in basketball shorts in basketball shoes,” Yazzie said. “I did what I had to do, and I fell in love with that.”

The sport continues to keep him motivated, especially because not many people can say they’ve run a marathon, let alone three. 

“This crowd here in Boston, the people that crossed that finish line are many of the 1% who said they can and they did it,” Yazzie said.

Yazzie plans to run the Berlin Marathon in September as well as run across New Mexico this summer.

Hellen Obiri wins women’s race — 12:09 p.m.

By Olivia LeDuc

Kenya’s Hellen Obiri has gone back-to-back, crossing the striped line first for the second consecutive year. 

Obiri, who finished with an unofficial time of 2:22:37, ran neck-and-neck with Sharon Lokedi and broke away from almost a group of a dozen women in the closing miles of the final stretch. 

Lokedi came in second and Edna Kiplagat finished in third place. Obiri is the first back-to-back winner of the event in nearly two decades. 

Hellen Obiri takes a victory lap after her second consecutive win at the 128th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Madla Walsh/Beacon Staff)

Sisay Lemma wins men’s elite race — 11:41 a.m.

By Olivia LeDuc

Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma has been crowned the 2024 men’s Boston Marathon champion. Lemma’s victory prevented Kenyan Evan Chebet from a historic third-straight victory. Chebet would have been the fifth man in the race’s history to win in three straight years. 

Lemma led with a 2:06:17 time in the elite men’s division. His best previous Patriot’s Day finish was 30th place in 2019. Chebet finished in third place.

Sisay Lemma takes his final paces before winning the 128th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Madla Walsh/Beacon Staff)

Marathon spectators celebrate the diverse cultural backgrounds of runners — 11:25 a.m.

By Sam Shipman and Bryan Hecht

Many people who run the Marathon come from all over the world. In Hopkinton, a diverse group of locals and visitors alike came together to celebrate the Marathon.

Sofia Kao from Lexington, MA, was holding a sign saying “Go Taiwan.” 

“I’m part of an organization called FASCA, which is an organization of Taiwanese-American teenagers,” said Kao.

“Today, I’m supporting the Taiwanese runners who came to run the Boston Marathon,” she added.

Josette Farmham, also from Hopkinton, was watching and supporting the Kenyan team and was excited for the Marathon to start. 

“[I] like seeing so many people at the same time, just when they’re all nice and fresh at the beginning.” Farnham said. “That’s always interesting to me.”

A runner holding a Ukrainian flag over his head moments before crossing the finish line of the 128th Boston Marathon held on Monday, April 15, 2024. (DJ Mara/Beacon Staff)

From Mexico to Boston — 11:13 a.m.

By Bryan Hecht 

Jesús Leon traveled from Mexico with his wife to run in the marathon. 

“I’ve been working for this since 2010. It’s hard to get in [to the] Marathon. I qualified in London last year,” Leon said. Today will be Leon’s sixth marathon, a journey which started back in 2010 at the Miami Marathon.

Going into the race he is “very excited [but] a little bit nervous [for] Heartbreak Hill, but let’s see how that works.” 

“I’ve studied the course a little bit. I’ve trained hills, so hopefully it should work out well,” Leon said. “Under three hours would be fantastic. But to be honest, I’m just gonna try to enjoy it … It’s a beautiful city.”

Running with hope — 11 a.m.

By Bryan Hecht 

Donna Gaudino is a Brooklyn native and 15-time marathon veteran, but this will be her first year running Boston. She is running for House of Possibilities’ “Team Hope,” a charity serving people with a variety of disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, developmental challenges, and more. Gaudino raised $8,500 to run in today’s event.

“I have a nephew that has autism,” said Gaudino, so for her getting involved with the cause was a no-brainer. 

She is a combination of “ready, nervous, [and] all of the above for the race,” and her hope is to finish the race smiling.

“They all say this is the best one. I think New York’s good, but we’ll see what this one is,” Gaudino said. 

Completing the marathon today will give Gaudino her sixth star of the marathon majors, meaning she has finished all six Marathon major course worldwide including the Tokyo Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and New York City Marathon.

22-year-old Eden Rainbow-Cooper wins women’s wheelchair — 10:40 a.m. 

By Olivia LeDuc

At 22 years old, Eden Rainbow-Cooper is a Boston Marathon champion. The Great Britain native won the women’s wheelchair title with a time of 1:35:11 in her second Boston Marathon.

Rainbow-Cooper is the first British woman to win Boston in either the open or wheelchair divisions. She beat Manuela Schar, a 2024 favorite, by 1:30.

Women’s wheelchair division winner Eden Rainbow-Cooper becomes the first athlete from Great Britain to win the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Staff)

“Still kicking” for this race — 10:38 a.m.

By Bryan Hecht 

Nina Caron is 64 years old and “still kicking” as she takes on her second Boston Marathon this morning. Caron, an Andover native, qualified for Boston in the Philadelphia marathon earlier this year. Despite her athletic accomplishment, she is taking a relaxed approach to today’s competition.

“[I’m] just hoping to finish feeling strong; we’ll see. I never like to talk about my time before I finish,” she said.

In terms of race preparation, she has been here before and knows what she needs to do to keep her mind and body ready.

“I did meditate on it a little bit. I just try to relax, stay off my feet as much as possible, [and] hydrate,” Caron said. “It’s a tough course [but] I mean, the weather’s gonna be gorgeous, the crowd support’s amazing … what else can you ask for, right?”

Caron is excited to take on this course again and feel the support of the Boston faithful. 

“There’s no other city like Boston … there’s no other city with this level of support,” she said.

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug wins 7th Boston Marathon — 10:17 a.m.

By Olivia LeDuc

For the seventh time, Switzerland’s Marcel Hug smashed his own course record in the men’s wheelchair division. He won with a time of 1:15:32. 

Nicknamed the “Silver Bullet” for his trademark silver helmet, Hug wheeled down Boylston Street, beating the 1:17:06 record he set last year.

Men’s wheelchair division champion Marcel Hug takes a moment of rest after winning his seventh Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2024. He broke his own course record by two minutes, despite crashing into a barrier earlier in the race. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Staff)

Rob Gronkowski arrives at finish line – 10:05 a.m.

By DJ Mara

Rob Gronkowski, former New England Patriots tight end, arrived at the finish line of the 128th Boston Marathon, where he was greeted by cheers from volunteers and spectators alike. 

Gronkowski was named the marathon’s grand marshal earlier this year. 

Former Patriot Rob Gronkowski serves as this year’s Grand Marshal and poses at the finish line on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Staff)

It’s a Marathon miracle — 9:50 a.m.

By Bryan Hecht

“You will never run again.”

That’s what 45-year-old Aubrey Brewer was told after a skydiving accident in 2021. 

“I have five spinal fractures and I was shattered and pretty much detached from my left hand,” Brewer explained.

Now she stands at the start line of the 2024 Boston Marathon in Hopkinton poised to realize a dream she said she has been chasing for 15 years. Brewer said that before her injury and COVID-19, she was close to qualifying for Boston, which was a long-time dream, but it wouldn’t be until this year, after much delay and three years of physical therapy, that she would qualify to run the women’s professional race by hitting a marathon time of 5:27 at the Pittsburgh Marathon.

“I mean, honestly, if it wasn’t for the Boston Athletic Association Adaptive Program, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Brewer said. “My neurosurgeons and doctors and physical therapists and chiropractors, they submitted all of my paperwork explaining my injuries to the [B.A.A] … It took about four months, but they came back and said … they adjusted my qualifying time to six hours,” which Brewer was able to run at Pittsburgh to qualify.

For her, being at the race is surreal.

“It’s incredible,” Brewer said of being at the race. “I mean, I’m nervous because I know that Boston is notoriously difficult,” she continued.

Brewer has seen this course before, however.

“I came out in 2021, a few months after my injuries because I was told I would never run again… I showed up here the day before the actual race and I ran the course in by myself on Sunday,” she said.

She is joined by her husband and best friend at today’s race and hopes to continue defying all expectations and doubts by running a time under 5 hours.

“I would love to do a 4.59 just because my doctors told me it’s not possible,” Brewer said. “I’m running for myself because I’m able.”

Businesses in Hopkinton thrive with Marathon festivities despite major road closure — 9:38 a.m.

By Sam Shipman and Bryan Hecht

Businesses in Hopkinton were bustling with life as Marathon staff, first responders, and early risers shuffled in to grab caffeinated beverages and food to help them power through the long day. 

Muffin House Cafe on Main Street, a popular local chain in Massachusetts, already had a cluster of customers at 5 a.m. Alicia Balliro, the manager at the Hopkinton location, spoke about what it is like working on such an eventful day.

“Last year was my first year and it’s crazy. I’ve never seen so many people in one spot at the same time, but it’s very exciting and it’s very fun to watch and I’m glad that I’m part of it,” said Balliro. 

New England Novelty, a retailer that does pop-ups for events all over the U.S., was stationed in Hopkinton Center selling Boston Marathon merchandise. Debbie Anderson has been working the Marathon for three years. 

“We come up with new running shirts every year that tend to draw big crowds,” said Anderson. “People come looking for us, it’s pretty fun.”

New England Novelty has vendors set up all along the Marathon route, Anderson shared her personal favorite part of the day. 

“It’s the energy of the people, it’s so fun with the runners, with everyone cheering them on,” said Anderson. “I think marathons tend to draw just really good people with good positive energy and it’s a lot of fun.”

“Oh, Hopkinton. That’s where the marathon starts” — 8:43 a.m.

By Bryan Hecht

James C. Arena-DeRosa is a state representative (D) for the 8th Middlesex District of Massachusetts. He came out to the start line today to partake in the marathon finish line. The 8th district includes the towns of Hopkinton, Holliston, Millis, and Sherborn. 

“This is one of my towns and this is an iconic part of our community … the marathon [has] started here for a hundred years,” DeRosa said. 

For DeRosa, who was elected in 2022, coming to the start line is a new experience.

“I’ve been coming to the marathon since I was a kid … You’d go watch the Red Sox and then go watch the end of the marathon [and I did that for] many, many years,” DeRosa said, explaining that this is only his second time coming to the start line.  

“You just get to see it upfront and it’s so wonderful … It’s a lot of excitement, a lot of sense of community … it’s athleticism but it’s also just supporting the community, which is great too,” he said. “I have friends all around the country and when I tell them the towns I represent, two out of three people say ‘Oh, Hopkinton. That’s where the marathon starts.’” 

Watching the race at a new place  — 8 a.m.

By Sam Shipman and Bryan Hecht

Geraldine Alquinta and her mother came out to spectate the start line. This is their first year watching the Hopkinton festivities having moved to Worcester from East Boston where they used to watch the finish. They have found the energy at the start to be electric so far.

“I like the atmosphere, it’s very positive,” Alquinta said.

“I come four hours before the marathon starts and I run it” — 7:52 a.m.

By Sam Shipman and Bryan Hecht

Jean-Paul Lapierre is a Weymouth native who makes a tradition of running the course before the race every year. He is also the owner and founder of the Boston Running Museum Archives.

“I come four hours before the marathon starts and I run it,” he said.

He has had a unique path to becoming interested in marathons and running.

“I was actually doing a lot of drugs and alcohol 25 years ago and was, one day, at a party drinking before the marathon, [and I realized] I think I need to change my life. I’m going to go run the marathon tomorrow.”

Lapierre ran the marathon unregistered that year by jumping in behind the pack and since has run the course every year whether as a part of the official race or before in the mornings but he always makes sure to come back to the start to watch the racers take off.

Making sure the Marathon begins without a hitch! — 7:43 a.m.

By Sam Shipman and Bryan Hecht  

The marathon recruits a large number of volunteers and staff to build, direct, and keep people safe all across the marathon route. In Hopkinton, Dorothy Ferreta-Wallace is the chair of the Hopkinton Marathon Committee, a B.A.A. liaison and a part of the organizing committee of the B.A.A. Ferreta-Wallace talked about what goes into preparing the starting line. 

“We have official meetings about eight months of the year,” said Ferreta-Wallace. “But we meet throughout the year and there’s that two-month lag time this summer that everybody gets to enjoy.”

Locally in Hopkinton, a large group of people are involved on the board to make the start of the race come together. 

“Department representatives, police, fire, DPW, public works, border health, parks and rec as well as 12 other citizen volunteers on our committee,” said Ferreta-Wallace. 

Despite the big team, it is still difficult to direct people to where they have to go due to the massive amount of people involved in the event. 

“I think funneling everybody and making sure their teams are complete with enough volunteers and that they know what they need to do,” Ferreta-Wallace said. “Getting them into position, making sure they have all the supplies they need.”

Ferreta-Wallace talked about a few of the new aspects that were incorporated into the 128th Marathon. 

“The difference is to build inclusion for everybody to participate and enjoy the start,” Ferreta-Wallace said. “There’s a whole new bleacher system up here, all accessible, wheelchair accessible, ADA accessible.”

Ferreta-Wallace also mentioned the new sponsor Bank of America introduced this year.  

The most important part for the remainder of the day is for the temperature to stay lower, she said.

“It might be hotter down the road, but for us at the start, we’ll get everybody on their way to Boston,” said Ferreta-Wallace. 

This is Ferreta-Wallace’s 40th year being involved with the marathon, and her 26th year as chair of the marathon committee. 

Hopkinton start line comes alive with early morning preparation — 7:03 a.m.

By Sam Shipman and Bryan Hecht

The sleepy town of Hopkinton was alive this morning as dozens of workers and volunteers built the infrastructure of today’s marathon start line. 

Brian Quagliaroli, a member of the pre-production operations team for the start and finish line construction, said his team arrived at 5:30 a.m. to begin final preparations. He has been working on the finish line since last Wednesday and he described the whole process as a “hectic” but “organized chaos.”

“Candidly, truthfully, breaking it down [is my favorite part of the weekend],” Quagliaroli said. “[But] it’s fun to see how everyone gets excited about it and the way, especially after 2013, it’s [brought] everyone closer, as a city and town.”

Matt Auger, a Cape Cod native, is a Boston Atheltic Association (BAA) liaison to the Hopkinton Command Center, the eye in the sky that monitors race operations. He is a contract worker for DMSE, a logistic coordination company for many race events, and has worked 12 marathons. He said that activity starts to really pick up at around 6:30 a.m.

“We have road closures. We have public safety getting into place. We have all the various components coming into town,” Auger said. He and his team communicate with race officials along the course to ensure the start gun can go off at the planned time.

Auger said his favorite part of marathon day used to be running the course after the main event and concluding it with Dave McGillivray, the Boston Marathon race director and DMSE president, but he can’t this year, so he looks forward to working with his wife in the Command Center as she is a volunteer today.

There are roughly 10,000 volunteers working across the whole course with 60 at the Hopkinton location, said Andy Deshane, a Grafton native and start director for the race. Among many of those volunteering, a sense of excitement and optimism was palpable.

“I think just the fact that the community rallies around everyone and the amazing athletes that come out and put their grit to the test [is so amazing],” said Linda Morrissey, a Franklin native and volunteer with the para-athlete tent.

Lou Monghie, is a 70-year-old Hopkinton native who has been working the marathon for 30 years. As a volunteer in the information booth, he said the marathon has changed a lot in his tenure, especially since the 2013 bombings.

“[It’s] altogether different. Too many rules and regulations,” he said.

Deshane, who, in his words, is the man who “says go,” arrived at Hopkinton at 4:30 a.m. to start the basic setup to put “the last few touches,” on the racing infrastructure.

Despite what will be a busy day with flurries of activity, “My favorite part is at two o’clock in the afternoon, when everything is cleared up and gone, and it looks like Hopkinton again,” he said.

Emerson faculty and alumni to run the 2024 Boston Marathon — 6:30 a.m.

By Bryan Hecht

For two Emerson alumni, today is race day.

The 2024 race is writing, literature, and publishing (WLP) faculty member and Emerson alumni Mary Shertenlieb’s fourth time running the Boston Marathon and her fifth marathon overall. A three-time survivor of leukemia, Shertenlieb will be running the marathon to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a cause dear to her heart since undergoing treatment there in 2013. 

Read more here.

The trailblazing women of the Boston Marathon — 6:00 a.m.

By Anna Knepley

In Boston, at the Boston Marathon, men ran 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston St for 69 years before the first woman stepped foot onto the course. Even then, women were not officially allowed to register for the marathon until 1972, six years after that gender barrier was broken. 

Read more here.

What’s today’s schedule? — 5:30 a.m.

  • Military March — 6:00 a.m. 
  • Men’s Wheelchair — 9:02 a.m. 
  • Women’s Wheelchair — 9:05 a.m. 
  • Handcycles & Duos — 9:30 a.m. 
  • Professional Men — 9:37 a.m. 
  • Professional Women — 9:47 a.m. 
  • Para Athletics Division — 9:50 a.m. 
  • Wave 1 — 10:00 a.m. ET
  • Wave 2 — 10:25 a.m. ET
  • Wave 3 — 10:50 a.m. ET
  • Wave 4 — 11:15 a.m. ET

Read everything you need to know about today’s race here.

Happy Marathon Monday! — 5 a.m.

The 128th Boston Marathon is here.

The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world. Since 1897, athletes have journeyed through the eight towns and cities along the 26.2-mile course to experience the historic race. 

Trek through the race with us to witness all the big and small moments on the iconic day.

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About the Contributors
Hannah Nguyen
Hannah Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief
Hannah Nguyen (she/her) is a junior journalism major from North Wales, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in publications like The Boston Globe, North Penn Now and AsAmNews. Outside of writing, she enjoys thrifting and painting her nails. (see: https://linktr.ee/hannahcnguyen)
Olivia LeDuc
Olivia LeDuc, News Editor
Olivia LeDuc (she/her) is a journalism student and assistant editor for the campus coverage of The Beacon’s news section. When she’s not reporting, you can find her crocheting or going on yet another long walk in the city.
Rumsha Siddiqui
Rumsha Siddiqui, Managing Editor
Rumsha Siddiqui (she/her) is a journalism major from upstate New York. She currently serves as a managing editor for the opinion and living/arts sections and previously served as sports editor. Rumsha is passionate about writing about the Boston Celtics and offering commentary and criticism on film, television, and music.
DJ Mara
DJ Mara, Kasteel Well Bureau Co-Editor
Sam Shipman
Sam Shipman, Assistant News Editor
Sam Shipman (He/Him) is a freshman journalism major from Natick, Massachusetts. He currently is a Staff Writer for the Berkeley Beacon. When he's not reporting he can be found listening to music or spending time with friends.
Bryan Hecht
Bryan Hecht, News Co-Editor
Bryan Hecht (he/him) is a freshman journalism major from Havertown, Pennsylvania. He currently serves as an assistant editor of The Berkeley Beacon News section. Bryan also contributes to WEBN Political Pulse and hopes one day to work in broadcast news media. As a member of the Emerson Cross Country team, Bryan can likely be found on a run around the Boston area when he's not writing for the Beacon.
Emma Siebold
Emma Siebold, Staff Writer
Emma Siebold (she/her) is a first-year journalism major/political communications minor from Spring Branch, Texas. She is also an associate producer for WEBN-TV and editorial assistant at Emerson Today. Outside of the newsroom, Emma enjoys training with the Dashing Whippets running team, listening to folk music, and obsessing over Marvel movies.

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