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Boston Marathon grand marshal Rob Gronkowski spikes his first pitch at Fenway Park

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BOSTON -- From start to finish, Rob Gronkowski had a grand old time at the 2024 Boston Marathon. The former Patriots tight end served as the grand marshal of the race, firing up runners and the crowd at both the starting and finish lines.

Being Gronk, he also mixed in a few spikes along the way. 

In the early morning hours in Hopkinton, Gronowski took time to amp up runners and chat with volunteers ahead of the race. Once things got underway, he made his way to Boylston Street to pose for some pictures with the trophy at the finish line and, of course, spike a football.

Former Patriots tight end and Boston Marathon grand marshal Rob Gronkowski spikes a football at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Gronkowski didn't make that 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on foot. He has made it clear that he's only a short-distance runner -- not a marathon guy -- so he received a lift when his duties at the starting line wrapped up. 

But that didn't stop Gronkowski from getting the crowd going on his way. He had his hand out the window the entire drive, waiving to spectators as he made his way into Boston. 

After he wrapped things up at the finish line, Gronkowski made his way to Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch ahead of the Red Sox' annual matinee game. But his "pitch" never made it to the plate, since Gronk spiked that too.

That man just loves to spike stuff. It's probably for the best that he only had his hands on the Marathon trophy for a few moments on Monday.

A three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots (plus another title with the Tampa Bay Bucs), Gronkowski was selected as this year's grand marshal after he was announced as the B.A.A.'s Patriots' Award recipient, presented to someone who is "patriotic, philanthropic, and inspirational, and fosters goodwill and sportsmanship." 

"Having him also serve as Grand Marshal on race day will bring a lot of added joy and excitement for the thousands of spectators who will be lining the streets from Hopkinton to Boston," B.A.A. director of development Nicole Juri said of Gronkowski when he was announced as 2024 grand marshal.

Gronk had some big shoes to fill this year after Red Sox legend David Ortiz served as grand marshal of the 2023 Boston Marathon. But he put his own stamp on the role, much to the enjoyment of anyone who saw Gronkowski in action on Monday.

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