Events, preparations underway ahead of Monday's Boston Marathon

Events, preparations underway ahead of Monday's Boston Marathon

BOSTON — Less than two days away from the Boston Marathon, crowds made their way to Copley Square on Saturday, a day that saw several exciting events leading up to race day.

The Boston Athletic Association's Elite Mile Race, along with the relay races, drew hundreds of runners to Boylston Street.

"It was really fun with everyone cheering us on," said Emily Schwartz of Brown Middle School.

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Students from locals schools teamed up to see which team could run the laps the fastest. Boston 25 News caught up with some of the runners who were still out of breath from the challenge.

"There’s a lot of fast people here cause I thought it wouldn’t be a lot of people, fast people, really fast," said Schwartz.

Down the street at the Prudential Center, marathon runners lined the sidewalks waiting to pick up their race day bibs.

"I’m so excited," said runner Monica Knoblock.

She is one of two sisters from Duxbury who previously ran Boston but this is the first time they've run the marathon together.

"It’s literally like a lifelong dream of mine. We’ve both run since high school, her since middle school. It’s like a dream come true," Knoblock said.

In the back of many runners' minds is the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is the first year that the anniversary falls on Patriots Day.

"I'll be keeping all of the victims definitely in my mind while the going gets tough, which it certainly will on Monday, and just use them as inspiration because they absolutely are," Knoblock said.

Melanie Kennedy expects Monday will be an emotional day.

"It’s really moving to be able to run on that day," she said. "It was a tough time coming out of that experience and just coming together as a city so I’m just excited that it’s on the same day. And I think it’s going to be very moving."

For information on the marathon route and travel tips check out the MBTA's Boston Marathon Guide. For street closures, see the city's Marathon Map.