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By Scott Roberto / March 29, 12:00 AM
The Long Run

 

Now in its 128th year, the venerable Boston Marathon returns on April 15, drawing droves of runners and running fans to the 26.2-mile stretch from Hopkinton to Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Appropriate for a race held annually on the state holiday of Patriots’ Day, the grand marshal this year is former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is also the recipient of the 2024 Patriots’ Award bestowed by marathon organizer the Boston Athletic Association in recognition of  his work giving back to the local community. Look for the beloved figure as he roams the length of the course from start to finish, pumping up spectators and participants alike along the way. No matter where you park yourself—be it the outset at Hopkinton, which celebrates its 100th year as the event’s starting place; the halfway point in Wellesley, famous for the volume generated by screaming students from nearby Wellesley College; or Kenmore Square, where marathon lovers can mingle with Red Sox fans as they exit from the annual morning game that day—there’s sure to be plenty of excitement in the air. Speaking of which, don’t miss out on several watch parties at bars and restaurants across the area, including one at finish line-adjacent Atlantic Fish Co.,which serves a continental breakfast, roast beef, Bloody Marys and more from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. You can even get an early jump on the revelry from April 12–14 by checking out the latest running gear and listening to talks by a wide range of running experts at the free annual Boston Marathon Expo at the Hynes Convention Center, as well as the Boston Marathon Fan Fest—a gathering featuring appearances by Boston Marathon legends, live music and fun activities—at City Hall Plaza.

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