Perfect spring weather welcomes the return of the Boston Marathon in April

FILE - Police officers stand guard as Boston Marathon runners run along the course, April 20, 2015, in Boston.  The Boston Marathon returns to the traditional Patriots Day holiday, Monday, April 18, 2022, for the first time in three years, and runners and spectators should be prepared for heightened security, the superintendent said in Boston Police Chief Gregory Long at a press conference, Tuesday, April 12.  (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

FILE – Police officers stand guard as Boston Marathon runners run along the course, April 20, 2015, in Boston. The Boston Marathon returns to the traditional Patriots Day holiday, Monday, April 18, 2022, for the first time in three years, and runners and spectators should be prepared for heightened security, the superintendent said in Boston Police Chief Gregory Long at a press conference, Tuesday, April 12. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

PA

The daffodils have sprouted, the fall foliage has been raked, and the Boston Marathon is back in the spring, where it belongs.

The world’s most prestigious marathon will return to the streets of Hopkinton in Copley Square on Monday, three years after the last Patriots Day race and six months after its 125th edition was delayed, canceled and delayed again by the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.

“We went for a run this morning and I was like, ‘OK, this is what it’s supposed to be. It seems normal,” 2018 winner Des Linden said last week. “The energy is coming back to where we left off. So that was a good reminder.

After a smaller, socially distanced field ran in October, more than 28,000 runners signed up for Monday’s 26.2-mile slog, including 11 former champions and what could be the fastest field of all the temperature.

Also moving fast: organizers who had 30 months between the 2019 and 21 events, then just 139 days since the only fall race in Boston Marathon history.

“And we can’t wait,” Boston Athletic Association President Tom Grilk said.

Monday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the 50s with no rain, and only the possibility of a light late afternoon headwind for stragglers.

UPPER FIELD

The women’s field is one of Boston’s all-time strongest, with reigning Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir, London and New York winner Joyciline Jepkosgei and Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw all posting personal bests in less than 2 hours and 18 minutes, two minutes faster than the Boston course. record.

Linden and Tokyo bronze medalist Molly Seidel are America’s top contenders.

Benson Kipruto of Kenya is trying to become Boston’s first consecutive champion since Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot won three in a row from 2006 to 2008. Eight others have shown the speed to beat him, including Boston winner Lawrence Cherono (2019 ), Lemi Berhanu (’16) and Lelisa Desisa (’13, ’15).

Colin Bennie, of Princeton, Mass., and CJ Albertson, or Fresno, Calif., are back after finishing in the top 10 in October.

PANDEMIC PROTOCOLS

In October, participants had to be vaccinated, tested and masked whenever they were inside. The race has reduced its field by more than a third and a rolling start has been instituted to allow for social distancing on the course and in Hopkinton.

Six months later, vaccinations (or a waiver) are mandatory, but testing is optional. Masks are mandatory on buses that take athletes to the start, but the state’s domestic mandate has been lifted.

“We are in a good position,” said marathon medical director Aaron Baggish. “The viral prevalence in the community is low, and we have weathered the storm well.”

TERRORISM WATCH

The New York City subway shooting last week prompted authorities in Boston to redouble their efforts to provide a safe environment for athletes and fans on Patriots Day.

Nine years after the marathon finish line bombings that killed three people and injured hundreds more, a New York man shot and killed 10 people in a Brooklyn subway car. Frank James, 62, was arrested the following day and is being held without bond.

Authorities say there was no evidence linking James to a larger terror plot. At a Boston Marathon public safety briefing last week, local, state and federal officials said they were ready.

“Everyone is on deck for these major events,” said MBTA Police Chief Kenneth Green. “But every day, every ordinary day, we are ready. We are there. We are vigilant. We are at work and we are visible. You don’t have the luxury of relaxing because someone got caught on the subway somewhere else.

UKRAINE

Residents or citizens of Ukraine registered for the race were offered a refund or postponement to a future race if they were unable or unwilling to run this year.

“Anything they want to do, they can do,” Grilk said. “Run this year, run next year. You want a puppy, whatever. There is no group we want to serve more.

There were 44 Ukrainian citizens on the ground, seven of whom lived abroad.

However, residents of Russia and Belarus have been advised that they are not welcome. Citizens of both countries living abroad remained eligible to run, but they cannot display their national flags or emblems.

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