Preparations underway, excitement building for first “normal” Boston Marathon in years

BOSTON — After two years of adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, anticipation is building for the 126th Boston Marathon.

“It’s almost like the calm before the storm,” said Hannah Lawless, of Boston. “It’s exciting, you can definitely feel it in the city. Everyone is really just looking forward to having everyone in one spot and being able to all gather around something we’ve been doing for so long.”

Lawless is one of 30,000 runners participating in the race on April 18.

“I’m excited, it’s my first marathon ever and it’s my first Boston Marathon, so I’m a little nervous but more excited than anything,” said Lawless. “It’s monumental for sure, and I think having it be a regular marathon for my first one makes it even better.”

Crews were spotted Sunday putting up scaffolding for the photo bridge over the finish line on Boylston St.

“Hopefully there will be a lot of people,” said Mark Spiridonov, of Boston. “I think a lot of people are preparing for the marathon, all the runners are obviously preparing themselves down this street, so yeah it’s exciting to see.”

As excitement builds for runners and spectators alike, restaurant and store owners along the race route are preparing for a big boost in business.

“Everybody is booking out,” said Stephany Yipchoy, who works at a restaurant on Boylston St. “Surrounding Marathon Monday, we’re getting a lot more requests like last-minute ones, people trying to squeeze it in as well as us trying to accommodate.”

After a virtual event in 2020 and a scaled-down October marathon for 2021, many people are eager to get back to a full field of runners and a traditional April race this year.

“It’s really exciting to have all that energy back in the city because it’s something that everybody who lives here enjoys,” said Yipchoy.