BOSTON (CBS) — Final preparations were underway at the Boston Marathon finish line, just hours before more than 30,000 runners are expected to cross it Monday. For many, it’s been a long time coming.

“It has been a tough few years with COVID and everything,” said Marci Lyons of Rye, New York.

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“I qualified three times and didn’t get in. And then we qualified together and both finally got it,” said Emily Keeter of Nashville, Tennessee.

She and her best friend Adrianne have been planning this moment for seven years.

“I just think the history or tradition of it. I am just going to be smiling the whole time,” said Keeter.

Thousands were practicing their photo finish on Sunday night, surrounded by family and friends.

Others chose to end their day carb loading in the North End, fueling up for Monday’s race Boston style.

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“I got some pasta and lots of bread,” said Ryan Schroder of Boise, Indiana.

“I am going to get chicken parm hopefully. Have to get some fuel for tomorrow and hope it keeps you going throughout the race,” said Alex Carbonell of Berlin, Connecticut.

Runners reflected on what makes this marathon stand out from the rest.

“The city gets so involved with the race. Other races it’s exciting but I feel like the city here is full of energy and just lit up for this race,” said Adam Kulawy of Virginia.

Sunday’s energy was relaxed. No one was in a rush — there’s time for that on Monday.

The city, and all of its visitors, are ready for race day.

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You can watch live coverage of the 126th Boston Marathon on WBZ-TV and CBS Boston.com on Monday, April 18, 2022.

CBSBoston.com Staff