Thousands of runners are preparing to tackle the 128th Boston Marathon, known as the world’s oldest marathon race. It’s a huge accomplishment, especially because the race itself is a qualified run. That means that in order to register for the Boston Marathon, you must have already ran a marathon at a relatively quick pace. 

To get into the race is an achievement itself, but the energy at the Boston Marathon is unlike any other race environment you have ever seen. People come together and cheer for the runners…even other runners are supporting each other through the race, and that is evident whether you watch the race or you watch the live television broadcast. 

The Boston Marathon is ran every year on Patriots’ Day, which is observed on the third Monday of April, and this year, a Western New York native has been named as the Patriots’ Award recipient and Grand Marshal for the Boston Marathon. 

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Rob Gronkowski, known across the country as “Gronk,” was born in Amherst, and he attended Williamsville North High School (WNHS) for his first three years of high school. He went to college at the University of Arizona before being drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. 

Gronk has been named the 2024 Patriots’ Award, which is presented to a person or organization who is “patriotic, philanthropic, and inspirational, and fosters goodwill and sportsmanship,” according to the Boston Athletic Association

Nicole Juri, the B.A.A. Director of Development, said, “We are honored to have Rob Gronkowski as part of our Boston Athletic Association’s long-standing traditions and celebrations this year. The work that he has done and continues to do for the Boston Community exemplifies what we look to recognize with our Patriots’ Award.”

Gronkowski will also serve as the Grand Marshal for race day, which is usually someone from New England, but being a 4x NFL Super Bowl Champion for the Patriots, he has become a familiar face and played a major role in the Boston community. 

Serving as the Grand Marshal, Rob Gronkowski will be the one who delivers the champion trophy to the finish line for the overall winner. His vehicle will also be one of the lead vehicles for the race, so watch for Gronk on the Boston Marathon broadcast

There are over 30,000 participants signed up for this year’s Boston Marathon, and they will step off from the start line just after 9 AM.  

The broadcast will air on ESPN 2, and it can be streamed on ESPN+. 

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