Boston Marathon

‘Just surreal silence’: A look at the Boston Marathon start line on what should have been race day

At least one individual ran the course start to finish.

A view of the Boston Marathon starting line on April 20, 2020 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

HOPKINTON — The Boston Marathon start line was eerily empty on Patriots’ Day.

Blue cones were placed in nearly every parking spot around Hopkinton’s Echo Lake Park, and several police cruisers patrolled the area in hopes of preventing rogue runners from beginning the 26.2-mile trek from its usual spot.

“No Parking on Mon.,” read a solar traffic message board. “Tow Zone.”

A sign near the Boston Marathon start line prohibiting parking.

With the marathon postponed until Sept. 14, the town of Hopkinton and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had implored the 31,000 registered participants to stay off the course Monday.

For the most part, it appears people listened.

“No runners, no spectators, just surreal silence,” said Joe Lorenc, who has lived in Hopkinton for 32 years and popped by around 7:30 a.m. to take in this year’s very different scene.

Some folks stopped to take photos of the faded starting line, which has not yet been repainted this year. Others jogged on the sidewalk, with one shouting out, “I live here!” as if to make it clear he was not flouting the rules.

There was at least one individual who did defy Walsh.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, arrived at the start line at 4:50 a.m. and was greeted by his wife and three daughters at the finish line about 4 hours and 20 minutes later. He said he was aware of the request for runners to stay off the course.


Had police or government officials approached him and asked him to stop, the man said he would have complied.

“I’m not trying to cause any trouble,” he said. “It was a beautiful day for it. That’s all.”

Hopkinton police officers stand guard at the start line of the Boston Marathon.


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