Checking in from the finish line with a couple of notes and observations as the festivities get underway 26.2 miles away in Hopkinton . . .
* In the men's elite field, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot is back to defend his title after running a course-record 2 hours 5 minutes 52 seconds last year. But the field is remarkably deep with challengers, with past and present champions from marathons in Chicago, New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Houston, Monaco, Phoenix, and more.
* There were no prerace dropouts from the men's or women's elite field this morning.
* Ryan Hall, who finished fourth last year and was credited by Cheruiyot with pushing the pace, is trying to become the first American to win in Boston since 1983. Hall, a 28-year-old Stanford graduate, finished third in 2009, 58 seconds back. Last year, he was 2:49 off Cheruiyot's pace.
* Winds reached as high as 15 miles per hour this morning, and if this continues out of the west, it could lead to course records being "shattered," according to our own marathon guru, John Powers.
* The women's race has been decided by three seconds or less in each of the past three years. Last year, Teyba Erkesso won by exactly that margin over Tatyana Pushkareva. They are both back in this year's deep field, which includes 15 women who have personal bests of 2:26:30 or better. Four-time winner Catherine Ndereba and 2008 winner Dire Tune are in the field.
* Kara Goucher, who finished third in 2009 and is returning from maternity leave, is the most well-known American woman in the race. She was just nine seconds off the winning time two years ago. The fastest American female runner this year is Desiree Davila, who has been training on the Boston course.
* Overall, the elite field includes 40 athletes (18 men, 22 women) who hail from seven countries (Ethiopia, Ireland, Kenya, Russia, Ukraine, New Zealand, and the US.)
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes