The world’s biggest marathons were early casualties of the coronavirus pandemic, and they were some of the last vestiges of prepandemic life to return.
In the last 15 days, however, they have come back in force. Berlin in late September, London last weekend, Chicago on Sunday. Tens of thousands of runners trotted through the streets and thousands more cheered them on, celebrating a return to something approaching normalcy.
Now comes the oldest and grandest marathon of all: Boston, which until the pandemic had been run in April of every year since 1897. Organizers last year first postponed the race to the fall, then canceled the in-person event altogether for the first time in its 124-year history.
Monday’s version will be smaller, and have some different details, but once more Boston is set to hold a 26.2-mile celebration of running and itself like no other city does, beginning early Monday morning and running right into the start of the Red Sox playoff game at a packed Fenway Park, a little more than a mile from the finish line, Monday night.
It doesn’t get much more Boston than that. For one day at least, and especially for 20,000 marathoners, life might actually feel almost normal.
After being delayed by 18 months because of the pandemic, the Boston Marathon is back this year, marking its 125th anniversary.
The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network and Peacock, NBC’s streaming platform, starting at 7:30 a.m. Eastern on Monday. The races will also stream live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
NBC Sports’s Paul Swangard will be calling the race, with additional analysis from two-time Olympian Kara Goucher and seven-time Paralympian Chris Waddell.
CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV, a local news station, will also carry the race beginning at 7 a.m. Eastern on Monday, featuring news and athlete interviews.
For those who miss the earlier coverage, the Boston Marathon will be rebroadcast on myTV38 and on NBC’s Olympic Channel at 8 p.m. on Monday night.