Return of an Annual Tradition

Over 300 Airmen and Soldiers of the Massachusetts National Guard provided security and support for over 28,000 race participants in the 126th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18th, 2022.

This marathon was the first Boston Marathon held at the regularly scheduled date since the Coronavirus pandemic began.

The course was packed with thousands of spectators, providing a vibrant environment of cheering, support, and encouragement for all race participants.

The service members, who were arrayed throughout the run route, which begins in Hopkinton and ends near Copley Square in Boston, provided security, crowd control, and augmented civilian law enforcement and first responders.

National Guard Airmen and Soldiers who were posted along the route were there well before the race began and after the race concluded.

“I did get to watch the sunrise and it was very nice out this year,” said Cpl. Garry Welch, an Army National Guard military police team leader with the 747th Military Police Company. “My day consisted of providing security and crowd control, making sure spectators are following the rules and laws, as well as minding the race area restrictions, and ensuring the race participants were able to complete their run unimpeded.”

Welch also noted the perseverance of race participants.

“The amount of people that committed to finishing the marathon with prosthetics, that was very impressive, there were quite a few of them.”

The race can be particularly meaningful to members of the Massachusetts National Guard who have supported the event before.

“I've worked the marathon in years past as a public affairs Soldier and I love to run, so it’s always been my dream to run the Boston Marathon,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Tucceri, a public affairs mass communication specialist with the 65th Public Affairs Detachment. “I found out they were issuing bibs and I was fortunate enough to receive one from the National Guard and run on their behalf, which made it even more special because I've been a member of the National Guard for over 10 years.”

Tucceri also appreciated members of the National Guard working during the race.

“It was definitely cool to see all the service members on the side of the course as i ran by, it made me feel proud to be a part of the National Guard, it really did, and know that they were there working and keeping us safe and showing their capacity and service to the community in an event that represents tradition and history and community here in Massachusetts and in Boston,” he said.

Service members also participated in an alternate event associated with the 2022 Boston Marathon. Command Sgt. Maj. Bernard Madore, Command Sergeant Major of the 126th Brigade Support Battalion, completed his tenth Tough Ruck Boston 26.2 for the fallen, held on April 16th, 2022.

“The event is great, there are people that come from all over the country to do it,” said Madore. “To me its important that we keep it going and we support the fallen Soldiers and it was even more signifcant after the Boston Marathon bombing to support our local communities and continue to raise money for the families.”

The Tough Ruck event is recognized by the Boston Athletic Association, which provides official race medallions, and according to their website the 2022 Tough Ruck had over 430 participants who raised over $445,000.

The event itself is a group of military, first responders and civilians whose sole purpose is to ruck in honor and in memory of our Fallen Service Members, Police, Firefighters and EMTs, while raising critical funds to support military families and families of the Fallen in times of need.

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