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Boston Marathon runners enjoy weekend of celebrations before race day on Monday

Boston prepares for marathon with weekend of celebrations for runners
Boston prepares for marathon with weekend of celebrations for runners 02:28

BOSTON - From Hopkinton to the finish line on Boylston Street, the energy is high for the 128th Boston Marathon. 

"The whole atmosphere, you truly feel it the whole weekend," marathon runner Jonathan Ladson said.

Runners and spectators from all over the world are taking in all the pre-race celebrations and games.

A weekend of fun activities 

The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism adaptive program for runners got things started at City Hall for the B.A.A. Fanfest.

"We have a very special program called "Stars of the Spectrum" where we elevate the voices and stories of people with autism," Liz Monrue said. 

The Hynes Convention Center was packed with runners picking up their bibs and merchandise.

Linda McCowen took time to get her hair styled at the convention center before Monday. It's her sixth time running the Boston Marathon. 

"The crowd is amazing, the atmosphere is fantastic, and it's just a wonderful race," McCowen said.

Running for a cause

Dr. Shahrzad Slater is running her first Boston Marathon in memory of her neighbor and patient.

"Emily is my reason for running. I was running hills thinking about Emily fighting for her life," she said. 

Shahrzad is running for Boston Children's Hospital Miles For Miracles Team in honor of 8-year-old Emily Butts, who lost her battle with cancer.

"Our whole team is running for Emily. All the training that we did, we were thinking and praying for her and her family. Now we are going to finish for Emily," Slater said. 

Shahrzad is the wife of former New England Patriot Captain and current Special Assistant to the Head Coach Matthew Slater. While Emily was in the hospital, the Patriots sent her a care package.

"She just snuggled it, so she was so grateful," she said. 

Shahrzad hopes to raise more money in Emily's memory. 

"I'm just honored to be part of all of this and I can't wait to get out there to run 26.2 miles," she laughed.

How to track the runners

You can track Shahrzad Slater, Liz Monrue, or Jonathan Ladson as they run the Boston Marathon on the B.A.A. Racing app.

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