Monday marks the 120th running of the Boston Marathon and GRC is sending a strong contingent of runners to the start line in Hopkinton, many for the first time.
Chilly Balmer and Graham will be making their Boston debuts. Both men have done the hard training and are in shape for big PRs. Balmer scoped out the course in 2014 and should know the importance of chilling hard for the first 10 miles of the race. The extremely experienced Chris Bain will make his annual pilgrimage along Route 135 for the 18th or 19th time (fact check?). Another veteran, Lavar, will also be toeing the line.
The women will be represented by a trio of Boston debutants Keely, Kristin, and Catherine, as well as veteran Julie. Keely, fresh off a half marathon best, is in fantastic shape and will look to obliterate her marathon PR with a sub-3:00 performance. Kristin has trained extremely hard in difficult winter conditions in Chicago and will also take a crack at her PR (GRC #3, 2:48:06). Although Chicago lacks the hills that are the marquee of the Boston course, Kristin used her visits to DC to seek out the hilliest routes, and is prepared to tackle the Newton climbs. GRC ex-pat Catherine has managed to balance training with a tough dental school schedule and is excited to run her first Boston. Last but not least, Julie will use her experience and love for Boston to power her way to Boylston Street. Julie's training has been interrupted by a nagging injury and demanding job, but if I know one thing, it's that Julie should never be underestimated, least of all in the Boston Marathon.
Conditions for the race look mostly favorable, although a bit on the warm side. The storied event will kick off at 9:32 am for the elite women and 10:00 am for the elite men and first wave of the other 30,000 runners. The race will be streamed online and broadcast on NBC sports.
Live tracking is available here. We'll have a live update running on the blog on Monday, complete with commentary from the field.