BOSTON (CBS) — About a thousand people packed the Old South Church Sunday morning for the annual Blessing of the Runners ahead of Marathon Monday.

There were long lines outside the church stretching around the corner, and some who could not get in had to wait for an afternoon service.

Boston Marathon bombing hero Carlos Arredondo offered the blessing of the runners this year.

“Before giving the blessings, I really was crying,” Arredondo told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal. “It’s so emotional, it’s amazing.”

Tripp Parlaine, here in Boston from Atlanta, called it incredibly moving.

“I had friends that were here when the bombs went off, but I wasn’t here then, so seeing that and having him be here and give that was pretty incredible,” he said.

After the blessing, a lone bagpiper marched up the aisle at the packed Old South Church and joined the joyous musicians at the altar.

Over at the John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo runners picked up their bid numbers, gear and any last minute tips.

Gina Bolen will be accomplishing a special goal this Marathon Monday.

“Run 50 by 50,” she explained. The 2017 Boston Marathon will be her 50th marathon and sixth in Boston.

“I wanted by 50 to be special and there’s nothing more special than the Boston Marathon,” she said.

Davio’s also held a special dinner for Boston Marathon bombing victims.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal reports


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