Boston Marathon Expo welcomes thousands of runners

BOSTON — Thousands of runners poured into the Hynes Convention Center Saturday to pick up their bib numbers ahead of the 126th Boston Marathon on Monday.

“This will be my ninth one [Boston Marathon],” said Bryan Allen of Temecula, California. “I was here the year the bombs went off and that was going to be my last year, but then we just keep coming back now to support Boston.”

Monday will mark Allen’s 49th marathon. He said Boston holds a special place in his heart.

“To go to any other marathon, you’ll have spans and miles where there’s nobody on the sides,” said Allen. “That doesn’t happen here. From mile one to mile 26, it’s packed with people supporting you.”

Monday’s marathon marks the first Boston Marathon held on Patriots’ Day since 2019 after being canceled in 2020 and moved to October in 2021 due to the pandemic. “This is my third time running [the Boston Marathon] and every time we come, we just love being here,” said Bailey Rhodes, of College Station, Texas. “It just feels like a celebration the whole time, so it makes it great to run.”

Rhodes ran the marathon in October and is excited it will be back to a full field of 30,000 runners this year. “I think the energy was still up [in October 2021] I think because everybody was so excited to be back running, but it just feels right and normal to be here in April,” said Rhodes. “You can just tell the whole city is excited for people to be back.”