By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – Thousands of runners filled Boston Common on Saturday for the Boston Athletic Association 5K race.

All of them were ready to kick off Boston Marathon Weekend.

“It’s a high demand race and we have 10,000 participants in this race every single year,” said Douglas Flannery, operations director for the Boston Athletic Association.

baa runners start 10,000 Runners Take Part In Boston Athletic Association 5K

Thousands of runners filled Boston Common on Saturday for the Boston Athletic Association 5K race. (WBZ-TV)

Jodi Davis of Tennessee was among the runners.

“This is right up there with, I hope my children don’t see this, but having my kids,” she said.

Among them, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who wished the runners luck before the race.

“What an amazing weekend to be in Boston,” he said.

For runners, it’s a warm up both physically and mentally.

“Even just the little things, like being around other runners, giving race tips, being around all the buzz, that sort of helps a little bit,” Dawn Ladds said.

For Ladds, it was all about who she was running with.

baa finish line 10,000 Runners Take Part In Boston Athletic Association 5K

The finish line of the Boston Athletic Association 5K race. (WBZ-TV)

“I’m just really excited to run alongside my son and see what he does. He’s been working really hard and he’s excited, so I just want to support him and be a real good mom,” she said.

“I’m excited for that, she’s a good runner,” her son, Owen, added.

It took nearly two decades to reach Boston Marathon weekend.

“I’ve been trying to get to the Boston marathon for 17 years,” Davis said.

She explained what this weekend truly means.

“As a runner it is a thing to become a unicorn that is what you do. You run a thousand, thousands of miles. You cuss, you scream, you cry, you meet people, you do everything,” she said.

No matter where they’re from, what they’ve been through, what challenges they face, on this weekend, they see endless possibility.

Benjamin Perkins ran blindfolded as part of an effort to raise awareness for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and visually impaired.

He said the entire experience was inspirational.

“These are people who know adversity and push through it and get to the finish line, literally and figuratively,” he said.

“I am so living, I am living, and I am so blessed,” Davis added.

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