Hopkinton hosted its most successful Boston Marathon start on Monday, April 18, with the help of legions of volunteers, town dignitaries, public safety and security officers and a community of athletes dedicated to acheiving their personal best.
Morning chilly temperatures gave way to warmer weather as sunshine peeked through the clouds. There was also a strong tail-wind to provide runners with optimum course conditions.
Hopkinton was filled with excitement as runners arrived to check in and warm up.
At Hopkinton Town Hall, local runners from the Hopkinton Athletic Association filed in to collect their badges. Runners from the HAA included Ilana Zieff, Nat Jacques, John Deyeso, Dana Dalmata, Paul Pilotte, Helen Diman, Rob Davis, and Phil Fisher. All looked forward to a great day of running.
Over at St. John's Church, a massive group of runners representing the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute were making their race-day preparations.
"We have over 550 runners participating this year," said Jan Ross, director of marathon and running programs at Dana Farber.
"Our goal was to raise $4.5 million this year. So far we have raised $3.6 million ."
Hopkinton locals Bill and Kim Cooper, and Jen Breslin arrived at the church, excited to run for Dana Farber. Bill Cooper lost both of his parents to cancer within 13 months of each other.
"We are running for so many people who's lives have been touched by cancer, not just ourselves," Kim said.
Over at the town square, dozens of booths staffed by dedicated volunteers, provided food, souveneirs, and information for Hopkinton's international guests.
The Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee provided information on how it hopes to continue building upon current iniatives. Those include bringing solar power and/or wind power to school and municipal buildings, and a town-wide energy audit.
The Sustainable Green Committee has done its work so well that Hopkinton was one of the first towns in the state to become eligible for state money by meeting "green" goals set forth by the state.
Sydney Epstein, a Hopkinton sixth grader from Weston's Rivers School, provided colorful story boards and information on the world's water crises.
Her project is aimed to raise awareness of dwindling water resources around the world, and the increasing privatization of what was once a natural resource.
Sydney made a presentation to Hopkins students last week, and the Hopkins students in turn made signs supporting runners from Kenya, a country in the midst of water shortages.
Standing next to the Hopkinton War Memorial were a group of 14 runners from Maine, who ran to honor soldiers from Maine who were killed in the Iraq War.
Standing near the flag, singing the National Anthem, one could not help but feel emotional before the start of the 115th Boston Marathon.
Fans and families cheered as the elite runners began their journey down winding Rte. 135, up Newton's Commonwealth Ave. and into Boston, a journey completed in record time.
Thousands of athletes who set off in Boston 2011's continuing waves ran for their own worthy causes, from charity to personal satisfaction.
The town of Hopkinton was proud to be the starting place for them to achieve their goals.