Reigning men’s wheelchair division champion Marcel Hug withdraws from Boston Marathon

The 126th Boston Marathon is set to get under way Monday with thousands of participants competing in the first full-scale race on Patriots Day since 2019. Early Monday, the Boston Athletic Association announced that Marcel Hug, of Switzerland, and Sho Watanabe, of Japan , have drawn from the race. Hug is the reigning men’s wheelchair division champion, five-time Boston winner, and course record holder, while Watanabe finished ninth at last year’s Boston Marathon.Last year, Hug cost himself a $50,000 course record bonus when he missed the second-to-last turn, following the lead vehicle instead of turning from Commonwealth Avenue onto Hereford Street. Nearly 30,000 people are registered for the 26.2 mile race that starts on Main Street in Hopkinton as it has since 1924. It winds through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley and Newton before ending on Boylston Street in Boston. Race Director Dave McGillivray sent a group of about 20 from the Massachusetts National Guard that walks the course annually out at 6 am, announcing the start in Hopkinton of the 126th Boston Marathon. He told them that the “comeback is greater than the setback.” The race starts at 9:02 am with the Men’s Wheelchair Division, which is followed by the Women’s Wheelchair Division, Hand-Cycle and Duo participants and the professional men and women. The Para Athletics Division begins at 9:50 am Info: Road Closures | List of Prohibited ItemsWave 1 of runners is set to start at 10 am and every 25 minutes another wave will begin ending with Wave 4 at 11:15 am The field of runners represents all 50 states and more than 120 countries.For some, getting back to the course on Patriots Day is special.”It’s so hard to describe, you know. I mean, this city just comes alive and everything is running this weekend,” said Eric Blackwell, of Michigan. “It’s very emotional. We were just at the Red Sox game and it hits you, too, the National Anthem and what sports means to this town.”Tourism experts estimate this year’s marathon is expected to bring in a $200 million boost to businesses. Officials have stressed there are no credible threats to the marathon, however security remains tight. The 2020 race was called off because of the pandemic, the first cancellation since the event began in 1897, and the 2021 version was postponed, then held in October. That was the first fall edition of the marathon. The field was smaller for social distancing and the crowds were smaller too, though no less enthusiastic. first ones to run the race. Bobbi Gibb is acknowledged as the first woman to run Boston. She finished in 1966 among the unofficial runners known as bandits. A year later, Kathrine Switzer signed up as “KV Switzer” and got an official bib. Race director Jock Semple tried to shove her off the course. Nina Kuscsik’s 1972 victory is celebrated this year. Five of the original eight women are taking part in the celebrations. Valerie Rogosheske, who finished sixth in the 1972 race, will run again this year, along with her daughters, and serve as the honorary starter for the women’s elite field. Reigning Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir, London and New York marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei, and Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw all have personal bests that are faster than the Boston course record. Kenya’s Benson Kipruto won the men’s race in October and will try to defend his title. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The 126th Boston Marathon is set to get under way Monday with thousands of participants competing in the first full-scale race on Patriots Day since 2019.

Early Monday, the Boston Athletic Association announced that Marcel Hug, of Switzerland, and Sho Watanabe, of Japan, have withdrawn from the race.

Hug is the reigning men’s wheelchair division champion, five-time Boston winner, and course record holder, while Watanabe finished ninth at last year’s Boston Marathon.

Last year, Hug cost himself a $50,000 course record bonus when he missed the second-to-last turn, following the lead vehicle instead of turning from Commonwealth Avenue onto Hereford Street.

Nearly 30,000 people are registered for the 26.2 mile race that starts on Main Street in Hopkinton as it has since 1924. It winds through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley and Newton before ending on Boylston Street in Boston.

Race Director Dave McGillivray sent a group of about 20 from the Massachusetts National Guard that walks the course annually out at 6 am, announcing the start in Hopkinton of the 126th Boston Marathon. He told them that the “comeback is greater than the setback.”

The race starts at 9:02 am with the Men’s Wheelchair Division, which is followed by the Women’s Wheelchair Division, Hand-Cycle and Duo participants and the professional men and women. The Para Athletics Division begins at 9:50 am

Info: Road Closures | List of Prohibited Items

Wave 1 of runners is set to start at 10 am and every 25 minutes another wave will begin ending with Wave 4 at 11:15 am

The field of runners represents all 50 states and more than 120 countries.

For some, getting back to the course on Patriots Day is special.

“It’s so hard to describe, you know. I mean, this city just comes alive and everything is running this weekend,” said Eric Blackwell, of Michigan. “It’s very emotional. We were just at the Red Sox game and it hits you, too, the National Anthem and what sports means to this town.”

Tourism experts estimate this year’s marathon is expected to bring in a $200 million boost to businesses.

Officials have stressed there are no credible threats to the marathon, however security remains tight.

The 2020 race was called off because of the pandemic, the first cancellation since the event began in 1897, and the 2021 version was postponed, then held in October. That was the first fall edition of the marathon. The field was smaller for social distancing and the crowds were smaller too, though no less enthusiastic.

The Boston Athletic Association is marking the 50th anniversary of the first official women’s division, though the eight women who lined up alongside the men that year were not the first ones to run the race.

Bobbi Gibb is acknowledged as the first woman to run Boston. She finished in 1966 among the unofficial runners known as bandits. A year later, Kathrine Switzer signed up as “KV Switzer” and got an official bib. Race director Jock Semple tried to shove her off the course.

Nina Kuscsik’s 1972 victory is celebrated this year. Five of the original eight women are taking part in the celebrations. Valerie Rogosheske, who finished sixth in the 1972 race, will run again this year, along with her daughters, and serve as the honorary starter for the women’s elite field.

This year the women’s field is one of the strongest ever. Reigning Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir, London and New York marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei, and Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw all have personal bests that are faster than the Boston course record.

Kenya’s Benson Kipruto won the men’s race in October and will try to defend his title.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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