Military Marchers Set Out from Hopkinton to Start the 128th Boston Marathon

A group of Massachusetts National Guard members early Monday crossed the Boston Marathon start line painted in honor of the town that has hosted the race for the past century, launching the 128th edition of the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon.

Race director Dave McGillivray sent the group of about 30 people off shortly after 6 a.m. He thanked them for their service and told them to have a great time. Lt. Col. Paula Reichert Karsten, one of the marchers, said she wanted to be part of a “quintessential Massachusetts event.”

Hopkinton is celebrating its 100th anniversary as the starting line of the Boston Marathon. The start was moved from Ashland to Hopkinton in 1924 to make the race the official Olympic Marathon distance of 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers). The start line says “100 years in Hopkinton.” The announcer welcomed the gathering crowds to the “sleepy little town of Hopkinton, 364 days of the year.”

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