BOSTON (WHDH) - A countdown above the newly-installed Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street shows the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the famous race begins on Monday.

Many of the runners arriving ahead of the big day expressed their gratitude and excitement on Friday to participate in such a monumental running event. Runners and curious spectators alike scoped out the finish line near the Boston Public Library.

“Boston’s what it’s all about. It’s the most iconic marathon in the world,” Paul Stephens, a runner from Dublin, said in an interview.

When asked what she’s most looking forward to during the race, first-time Boston Marathon runner Candace Hodge said, “Mile 21, hands down.”

Runner Ariela Ortiz said she’s looking forward to seeing the crowd cheer her on, as it’s also her first time running the big race.

Another first-time Boston Marathon runner, Melissa Cornejo, said she’s determined to hit the pavement with purpose.

“Seeing people who look like me representing us, because we belong in this race,” Cornejo said.

Timothy McDonagh, who will run for the charity “Cops for Kids With Cancer” said that the charity runners are an enormous part of the marathon.

Briar-Rose Honeywill-Sykes, 17, said she’s the youngest woman running the race this year, as she will turn 18 on Sunday.

“It’s very nice to see other people reach their goals, as well as while you’re reaching your goals,” Honeywill-Sykes said.

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