After a rainy weekend, Marathon Monday in Massachusetts dawned just about perfect: high 40s, sunshine, with a predicted temperature of mid-50s, and a 15 mph north/northwest wind. This means that the runners will have a tailwind for the Newton hills, including the infamous Heartbreak Hill.
The wheelchair division took off at 9:17. Ernst Van Dyk, an eight-time Boston champion, is off to a commanding early lead. He's about two minutes ahead of the pack, completing the first 5k in 8:03 and the the 15k mark, he finished in 28:17. Despite saying he's not in peak condition because he's been busy taking care of his daughter, Van Dyk is also almost two minutes faster than the course record (which he set in 2004). On the women's side, three-time defending champion Wakako Tsuchida is also out in front by a large margin.
The elite women took off at 9:35, and the elite men will take off at 10:00. The pack of runners is currently led by Yurika Nakamura of Japan.
Out of the the total 26,000 entrants, 11,300 women are running this marathon, the most women ever registered for Boston.
Photo below: defending champions Deriba Merga and Salina Kosgei accept their bibs.
To watch a live streaming video of the marathon, head over to universalsports.com