HOPKINTON, Mass. — Heat warnings couldn't keep thousands of participants away from the starting line in downtown Hopkinton Monday for the 116th Boston Marathon.
Runners were repeatedly warned that this was not the year to beat personal records on the 26.2 mile course because of temperatures that rose into the 80s by mid-morning. Over 4,000 of 26,716 entrants reportedly dropped out after the Boston Athletic Association allowed the option to defer entry until 2013
Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherpop finished first in the men's race and women's races, respectively. Both are from Kenya. Joshua R. Cassiday or Ontario, Canada won first place in men's wheelchair, while Shirley Reilly of Arizona won the woman's wheelchair top spot.
While many participants were running competitive races, others were in it for charity. According to race officials, as of 2011, $110 million has been earned for select charities since 1989. This year, 31 charities were expected to raise about $10 million.
Kevin Hanna came to the marathon from Orlando, Fla. Hanna said he had run marathons in 49 other states. The Boston Marathon would finally put Massachusetts in his record book, making for an even 50.
Hanna, who ran to raise money for Boston's Children Hospital, added he was feeling confident, right up until the "last minute," when he started getting more and more messages about the high temperature.
His projected finish was about four hours and ten minutes.
Wife and husband Kathy and Beau Boudreau from Gardner, Maine, came down to cheer on their twin sons, Ward and Wade. They said the Boston Marathon was one of the twins' "milestones."
"We're very excited," Kathy Boudreau said. "Why else would I have gotten up at five in the morning?"
The twins finished at about the same time, at a little over three hours and 45 minutes.
Kelly Luckette was running in her eighth Boston Marathon, and has competed in over 30 marathons as well as ultra-marathons that last for 24 miles and 50 kilometers.
Luckette is the only female amputee who has competed in the Boston Marathon more than once. She said she was excited to be back.
"The Boston Marathon is a marathon like no other," she said.
Among many spectators were those in uniform, such as Capt. Robert Bonham and Staff Sgt. Adam Folger, recruiters for the National Guard. Bonham noted it was important to remember the meaning of Patriots Day amongst the festivities of the marathon.
"I think it's important to remember our heritage, and where we come from," he said. "Obviously, without the American Revolution, there'd be no U.S.A." said Bonham.
Robert Doherty of Braintree made the trek to Hopkinton in order to watch the start. A fan of the marathon for years and a former distance runner in high school, Doherty said the marathon brought back a lot of good memories of his high school days. Most years, Doherty watches at the finish line.
"This is my first time at the start," he said. "It's an exciting event, a world-class event. It's part of history."
Robert H. Clark finished with a time of 6:06:24, Peter Gleason finished with a very impressive time of 2:49:08, Jack Goolsky finished at 4:47:24, Ryan Martin finished at 5;39:42
While representing Millbury's fairer sex, Tarah Martell in the female division finished with a very respectable time at 4:06:49