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Sunday December 15th, 2019 3:25PM

The Latest: 30K runners off to race in 123rd Boston Marathon

By The Associated Press
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BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on the Boston Marathon (all times local):

10:05 a.m.

The 123rd Boston Marathon has begun.

Defending champion Yuki Kawauchi of Japan was back to defend his title. Heavy winds and rain overnight had dissipated and the runners left Hopkinton under overcast skies and temperatures in the high 50s.

That's much better than last year, when an icy rain and near-gale headwinds led to the slowest winning times in four decades.

A field of 30,000 runners is following the top runners on the 26.2-mile trek to Copley Square.

American Sara Hall led the women's race through the two mile mark. It's her birthday; she turned 36 on Monday.

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9:35 a.m.

Defending champion Des Linden is back on the course at the Boston Marathon.

Linden was the first American woman to win the race since 1985 when she crossed the finish line first last year. She ran through an icy rain and near-gale headwinds to break the slump.

It's another wet day on Monday, but much better than last year. Overnight thunderstorms had stopped by the start of the women's race. It was 61 degrees, with calm wins and overcast skies.

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9:02 a.m.

The wheelchair race is off at the Boston Marathon.

First the men, then the women left Hopkinton on their way to Boston's Back Bay, 26.2 miles away. Heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight had settled down, but it was still expected to be a wet and windy day.

More than 30,000 runners were expected to make their way along the course in the 123rd edition of the race. Among them is Des Linden, who last year became the first American woman to win the race since 1985. Yuki Kawauchi is the men's defending champion.

This year's event falls on the sixth anniversary of the 2013 bombing that killed three people and maimed hundreds more. Boston officials were planning a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m., the time of the first explosion.

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7:20 a.m.

Runners are trying to stay dry as they await the start of the 2019 Boston Marathon.

The 123nd running of the world's oldest and most prestigious annual marathon got a wet start. But it's not as cold as expected, with temperatures in the 60s as runners arrived instead of the 30s that were initially forecast.

Monday is the sixth anniversary of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings. It's the first time the anniversary date falls on the same day as the marathon.

Runners are gathering underneath large tents set up outside of a high school in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Defending champions Des Linden and Yuki Kawauchi have said they're not bothered by the forecast for a rainy, windy day because they won last year in similar conditions. They lead a field of about 30,000 runners on the 26.2-mile (42-kilometer) trek from Hopkinton to Copley Square.

The mobility impaired division is scheduled to begin at 9:02 a.m.

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