Large and Colorful Turnout From Boston Marathon Spectators

Many in the crowd spent the day ringing bells, waving flags, and cheering on runners

Eager spectators packed the race course of the 120th Boston Marathon, many of them holding signs, ringing bells, and yelling at the tops of their lungs.

"Oh, it's just exciting to see him come through," said Edie Whalen, an onlooker who was in Boston to cheer on her nephew. "Very exciting!"

Many of the relatives and friends of Boston Marathon runners spent the day working hard to get the attention of athletes, many going to creative lengths like holding up giant cut-outs of runners' faces.

"You feel a lot of energy just from the people around you," said spectator Bernadette Szakal, whose daughter was wearing a balloon hat in marathon colors and looking forward to congratulating her father. "People are so excited to be here and nothing's bringing them down."

And yes, all that enthusiasm does reach the runners, said marathoner Sean Laffey, who noted even though his finish time was a bit slower than he would have liked due to the heat, the energy from fans helped motivate him.

"Along the entire course, there's fan support-- it's absolutely incredible," Laffey told necn. "Wherever you are, there's always people who are cheering. You feel like they're cheering for you and everyone around you, and there's so much energy. You definitely feed off that and you definitely keep going."

The weather may have been too warm for some runners, but all fans necn talked to said the conditions along the sidelines were ideal for watching the marathon.

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