The typically quiet town of Wellesley transforms into a mini-Copley Square on Marathon Monday. Today’s 115th running was no exception.
Children played on the lawn, onlookers held signs with names of runners, and Wellesley College students made noise in the “scream tunnel,” the stretch of road on Route 135 that passes the campus.
“Everyone looks forward to Marathon Monday like it’s Christmas,” said Maggie Polachek, in her third year at Wellesley College.
Holding signs with enticing slogans, the girls of the school offered kisses to runners as they passed. Last year, Polachek’s sign said, “Kiss me, I’m Jewish,” and signs this year read similarly.
One student, holding a sign that said “Kiss me, if you think science is cool,” was getting a lot of attention from racers. She said she cherished the opportunity to hold up her sign on Patriots’ Day.
“It’s a great chance to put out a message,” said Eva Petakovic, a first year student.
Near the halfway point of the race, mile No 13.1 in front of , people held signs of a more serious nature. Joan Lynch of Wayland held a sign, which read, “Go Anjali” in large letters. She held the sign in honor of Anjali Forber-Pratt, a wheelchair racer who the Lynch’s are flying in from India on May 15 to take part in another race on behalf of the Katie Lynch Foundation. Named for Joan’s daughter Katie, who suffered from a rare form of dwarfism and passed away in 2002, Joan Lynch said she often chooses Wellesley to view the race.
"It's an easy place to watch," Joan Lynch said.
Others are simply in Wellesley to take in the action from Central Street. Ali Richards of Sherborn took a photo of her children, Hunter, 6, and Ronan, 4, as they cheered on the runners this morning. For Richards, the race is tradition.
“We come here every year,” she said.