CHESTNUT HILL - It's a point in the race where you see a lot of people struggle. At about 20 miles in, Heartbreak Hill does not feel good. But right on Commonwealth Ave., outside of Boston College, is one of the most encouraging parts of the race.
They started early -coming out just after the sun came up. They're marathon fans... and they came ready to cheer on the runners.
"I heard that there are a lot more people running this year and I think that's fantastic. showing that we can be stronger after such a tragic thing is pretty important," said Asher Nichols of Newton.
"Just celebrate all the runners and have a good time!" said BC student Rob Granara.
More than a million people were expected along the race course. But according to these fans, something special happens along the 20 mile mark, at Heartbreak Hill.
"A couple of my roommates ran the marathon and they said that going by Boston College the biggest adrenaline rush they've ever had so we like giving them that rush at mile 21," said BC student Taylor Phelan.
People from all walks of life come together here, making signs of encouragement, not letting the threat of last year interfere with this marathon Monday tradition.
"Well obviously you're always looking over your shoulder and the Newton police and others have been very diligent keeping it attentive but there are really no concerns," said nearby business owner John Acampora.
"Definitely none no hesitation at all we all plan on coming out to really just celebrating for all the runners. Just support everyone," said Granara.
From Heartbreak Hill it's less than 6 miles to the finish line....
The last leg of a race to prove that 1 year later, we're just 1 year stronger.