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Fans gather early at the Boston Marathon finish line

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  April 18, 2011 09:32 AM

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Boston Marathon finish line at 9:15 a.m.

The buzz has already begun on Boylston Street as the Boston Marathon is officially underway. Fans peppered the streets of the Back Bay early on this chilly morning to get a jump on the prime views of the finish line.

It was a brisk 45 degrees with a 17 mile-per-hour wind blowing down Boylston at 9:20, but temperatures are quickly on the rise.

Croney family

"This is normal weather for us," said the head of the Croney family (right) that traveled from Cornwall, Ontario, to see 44-year-old Rick Croney run in his first Boston Marathon. "We got out here at 8 a.m. to get a good spot, and we hope to catch him as he crosses the line."

A couple of women from the Pittsburgh area met randomly on the street and locked into a good position to see their husbands finish the run.

Fast friends from Pittsburgh

"We just met by chance, and now I have a new friend," said Libby Prather (left) who came in from Meadville, Pa., to see 45-year-old Ross Prather turn the corner at Hereford Street.

Gail Stairs (right) from Greensburg, Pa., came in from Steeler country to see her husband, 57-year-old Roger Stairs, complete the course as a first-time qualifier.

"I've been wearing my Penguins shirt, and my Pirates hat all weekend, too," Stairs said. "But the people around here have been very nice."

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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