ARMED WITH STENCILS AND SPRAY CANS, AND ASSISTED BY HIS TWO DAUGHTERS AND FRIENDS, ASHLAND RESIDENT JACK LEDUC HAS PAINTED THE BOSTON MARATHON STARTING LINE FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS. HE’S ALSO RUN THE RACE 15 TIMES. / PHOTOGRAPH BY SCOTT M. LACEYA record crowd of one million people, twice the usual number, lined the streets of Boston under brilliant skies today, to witness the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.
Thousands of runners from around the world, signed-up to compete in the marathon as an expression of support and defiance. Organizers said the race featured nearly 36,000 racers, 9,000 more than usual.
As the first racers crossed the finish line shortly after 10:30 a.m., crowds of spectators roared their approval.
The race is steeped in tradition. It is the world’s oldest annually contested marathon. The race is held the third Monday in April to coincide with Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, the first military engagements of the American Revolution. It is a school holiday and features a morning Red Sox game, a mix that typically creates a boisterous, party-like atmosphere around the region.