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BOSTON (CBS) – On your marks. Get set. Go!
Some 27,000 runners representing 90 countries are taking part in the 115th running of the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon on Monday.
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports from the traditional pre-race meal for many runners:
“(It) is the second largest field we’ve ever had except for the 100th running back in 1996,” said Guy Morse of the Boston Athletic Association.
Morse said this past winter took a toll on the marathon route, with more potholes popping up than usual, but crews were out this weekend ensuring the race will be a smooth one.
“That’s an annual marathon, in it of itself. When you have a winter like we did this year, you fill those potholes later and later and closer and closer to the event. We’re confident that DPW crews along the course, who have been doing this a lot of years, will have it ready for Monday morning,” said Morse.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Kim Tunnicliffe reports.
Morse said the race and all the events surrounding it are expected to generate an estimated $132 million in revenue for the Boston area.
Since 1991, every marathon winner has come from either Kenya or Ethiopia, except in 2001 when Lee Bong Ju of South Korea won for the men.
Last year, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya won his first Boston Marathon, setting a course record of 2:05:52, a full 1:22 faster than the previous mark set by Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (no relation). This past fall, he finished sixth in the Chicago Marathon.
No American man has won the race since Greg Meyer in 1983, but top American runner Ryan Hall is looking to change that. Hall placed third at the Boston Marathon in 2009 and fourth last year.
“Of course, there’s a couple of Americans that everyone’s looking for who will participate. Ryan Hall, who participated last year, people of that nature have a good shot, the returning champions are here who won last year. They were gracious winners, but very fast runners as well,” said Morse.
Fellow American Brett Goucher, who ran the fourth fastest American marathon debut in Houston in 2010 with a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 36 seconds, joins Hall in the elite field.
Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya is another contender. Despite blistering finishes in the Rotterdam Marathon (2:04:55) and Berlin Marathon (2:05:10), Mutai finished second in both races, according to James O’Brien on BAA.org.
Meanwhile, Gebre Gebremariam is looking to become the third Ethiopian man since 2005 (Hailu Negussie in 2005, Deriba Merga in 2009) to win the race. He finished first in the New York Marathon last October.
Ethopia’s Teyba Erkesso will look to defend her title after last year’s photo finish win over Tatyana Pushkareva. Erkesso beat out Pushkareva by just three seconds in 2010. It was the third straight year the women’s race had been decided by three seconds or less.
American Kara Goucher will return to run her second Boston Marathon after taking 2010 off to start a family. She will be joined by Desiree Davilla, the fastest American in 2010 after running the Chicago Marathon in 2:26:20.
“It’s anybody’s race, as you know, if you’re in the sport. Come Monday morning, it’s the best man or woman that particular day,” said Morse.
According to WBZ-TV meteorologist Barry Burbank, morning temperatures in Hopkinton in the 40s will warm to near 60 by the time the runners start entering Boston during the afternoon.
For a full look at his forecast, click here.
The 19th annual Heartbreak Hill Youth Race was held Sunday in Newton.
Kim Tunnicliffe reports from Newton.
WBZ-TV is the only local station with live wire-to-wire coverage of the 2011 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18th.