By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) — It’s all smiles and selfies near the finish line on Sunday as the city gets ready for the 125th Boston Marathon. On Sunday, the Old South Church was packed with marathon runners from around the world.

A special recognition was made in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day, and a Marathon prayer service was held for all the runners and volunteers.

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“It was beautiful. It was interfaith,” said Heather Kralj, a Boston marathon runner. “The blessing of the athletes was amazing.”

But perhaps no other runner has a greater reason to run this year than 31-year-old Andrew Kaczynski.

He and his wife Rachel lost their nine-month-old daughter Francesca on Christmas Eve in 2020 from a rare form of brain cancer. Her nickname was “Bean” for her appearance in utero. On Monday, he’s running for Team Beans.

“I am running to keep her legacy and spirit alive,” said Kaczynski.

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This will be Andrew’s first Boston Marathon. He set a goal to help raise $100,000 for Dana-Farber, but he exceeded that goal and raised more than $200,000.

He says each step he takes on Marathon Monday is not just for her, but for all children suffering from childhood cancer.

“The marathon, especially being here in Boston, just seems like a great way to raise money, and honestly just as important, awareness that so many kids are dying from cancer.

He hopes his Team Beans Infant Brain Tumor Fund will make a difference.

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You can watch the Boston Marathon live on Monday, October 11 on CBSBoston.com and WBZ-TV. Coverage starts at 4:30 a.m.

Paul Burton