WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 2022 Boston Marathon has returned to its traditional spring season after two years of pandemic-related issues. Runners from the western Massachusetts running club Greater Springfield Harriers took a bus from West Springfield to the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton Monday morning.

They were among the nearly 30,000 runners participating in the 126th race. For some, they’ve ran this race a dozen times.

“It’s an amazing experience to go there and have people cheering you on,” said David Theoharides of Whatley. “Each year, you try and do a little bit better, so it’s always that motivator to keep coming back.”

For others, this was their first Boston Marathon.

“It was always something I looked towards but I wouldn’t run it until I actually qualified and made the cutoff,” said Rufus Chaffee of Worthington. “This was the year I finally did that.”

Leading up to the race is weeks and weeks of training.

“It’s a lot of icy, miserable days on the roads of western Mass,” said Brenda Fortin-Chaffee of Worthington.

“Almost 800 miles of training,” said Theoharides. “This winter just stunk. It was too cold, too windy with snow and ice. To finally get a nice warm sunny day today will be fantastic.”