BOSTON (WPRI) — It’s a big weekend for Boston sports with the Red Sox and Patriots securing thrilling wins on the Sunday before Marathon Monday.

The 125th Boston Marathon is off and running Monday morning for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marathon Monday in April is always a big day for Boston, but this year the race is taking place in the fall for the first time ever after it was postponed an extra six months due to the pandemic.

There are plenty of other changes as well including the number of runners, which was capped at 20,000 instead of 31,000.

Every runner had to show proof of vaccination, or test negative for COVID to participate in the 26.2 mile journey through eight towns, ending at Copley Square outside the Boston Public Library.

The start times were split among several divisions. This year, unless added to a specific division, runners crossed the starting line in a rolling fashion instead of the usual waves of runners seen in past years to keep people from crowding.

The first athletes crossed the starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts around 8 a.m., followed by the elite, or professional, runners around 8:40 a.m. and the rest of the rolling field of runners around 9 a.m.

“The energy here is incredible, even last night at the Red Sox games I was wearing my marathon jacket and so many people just came up and say ‘good luck tomorrow,’ ‘hey we’re glad you’re back we missed you last year,’ ‘it was really great to have you.’ So I’m really excited,” Bob Geiger, of Chicago, said.

“I’ve run the Chicago marathon, there’s a lot of energy there but I don’t think it compares to Boston,” Geiger continued. “Boston is just special.”

A lot of work went into making the race happen and is a big day everyone has been waiting for.