(NECN: Scot Yount, Boston) - On a brisk morning with rain threatening, thousands of runners set out to blister five kilometers around Boston, to finish at the historic Boston Marathon finish line.
The winners of the men's and women's race basked in the glory of having beaten everyone else to the line.
"It is always nice to win, in Boston, especially this weekend, it was a lot of fun down there," said New Zealander Kim Smith, who won the women's 5K.
In the men's mile, setting a very fast pace, there was another New Zealander, Matthew Willis, who easily beat the field.
Willis won the Olympic Silver Medal in the 1500 meters, but said being there was just as special.
"Small makes it a bigger deal, it is big in terms of local attraction, plus the world scope the Boston Marathon brings in," said Willis.
Everyone who toes the line is a kind champion, especially people like 28-year-old Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball captain.
Frates is fighting Lou Gehrig's disease. He and his cousin Matt are racing and raising awareness.
"We beat our pace we wanted to achieve and Matt just did an amazing job," said Pete.
"Pete is my hero, he took a terrible thing and made it into something that is a beacon of light for millions," said Pete's cousin Matthew Floyd.
Pete's family could not be more proud of his spirit, and drive, refusing to give in, on the course, or in fighting a terrible disease.
"We had such a good run, because in all the fellow runners were cheering Matt on, giving him high fives and thumbs up so it went flawless and it was a great day," said Frates.