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Boston Marathon Starts in Hopkinton Monday

Whether you're looking for the great spectacle of runners ready for the race to Boston, or you're one of the runners at the start line, downtown Hopkinton is the place to be Patriots Day morning.

One of the sporting world's most thrilling starts is in Hopkinton's front yard on April 18, 2011. And, it's free.

The 115th Boston Marathon starts Monday at 9 a.m when mobility-impaired racers launch themselves down East Main Street at the sound of the starter's pistol.

From Hopkinton through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellelsely, Newton, Newton, Newton, Brookline and into Boston's Copley Square 26.2 miles away, racers pursue their goals of individual accomplishment for most, Boston Marathon victory for the few, and the forever thrill of saying "I did it!" for all.

The Push-Rim Wheelchair Division starts at 9:17.

The Handcycle start is at 9:22.

The Elite Women start at 9:32.

The Elite Men and Red Bibs of the First Wave start at 10.

The Second Wave in White Bibs starts at 10:20.

The Third Wave in Blue Bibs starts at 10:40.

Then it's see you at the finish line or see you next year. The race, including commentary from six Hopkinton High School spotters, is live on WBZ-TV.

After the Hopkinton start, some folks will travel down Rte. 495, onto the Mass. Turnpike and brave the Boston crowds to congratulate and comfort loved ones after they cross the finish line.

Many other spectators will return home. And the itch to run, maybe next year, might lead them to start an exercise regimen, find a charity that needs runners, and train through the harsh New Englnad winter for the 116th Boston Marathon in April 2012.

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