Boston Marathon finish line

Boston Marathon TV, race schedules

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The 118th running of the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon, is set for its traditional Patriots’ Day start Monday.

Universal Sports and UniversalSports.com will provide TV and online coverage of the 26.2-mile race that begins in Hopkinton and weaves through six more cities and towns before reaching and finishing in Boston on Boylston Street.

This year’s race has added significance given the twin bombings that rocked the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260. The field, some 36,000 runners, is about 9,000 more than in recent years and accommodates more than 5,000 entrants who ran last year but couldn’t finish due to the bombings.

Increased security includes over 3,000 uniformed police officers and National Guard soldiers along the course, up to 500 plain clothes officers in the crowd, 100 video cameras and emergency operation centers in all eight cities and towns.

The Boston Athletic Association is prepared for one million spectators, double the usual amount.

Boston Marathon Race Previews: Men | Women

The race schedule (all times Eastern):

8:50 a.m. — Mobility impaired
9:17 a.m. — Wheelchair
9:22 a.m. — Handcycle
9:32 a.m. — Elite women
10 a.m. — Elite men and Wave 1
10:25 a.m. — Wave 2
11 a.m. — Wave 3
11:25 a.m. — Wave 4

Universal Sports TV schedule:

Saturday, 4-6 p.m. — Pre-race show
Monday, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. — Live race day coverage
Monday, 4-5 p.m. — Race recap
Monday, 8, 11 p.m. — Encore race day coverage

Universal Sports is on a free nationwide preview on all of its distribution partners through Monday.

Four-time Olympic medalist returns to run Boston Marathon again

Tommie Smith, John Carlos set to join Team USA at White House

FILe - In this Oct. 16, 1968, file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward while extending gloved hands skyward during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman is at left. Smith and Carlos, the American sprinters whose raised-fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics are an ageless sign of race-inspired protest, will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House next week for its meeting with President Barack Obama. Smith and Carlos were sent home from the Olympics after raising their black-gloved fists in a symbolic protest during the U.S. national anthem. They called it a ``human rights salute.''
The USOC asked them to serve as ambassadors as it tries to make its own leadership more diverse. (AP Photo/File)
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the American sprinters whose raised-fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics are an ageless sign of race-inspired protest, will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House next week for its meeting with President Barack Obama.

Smith and Carlos were sent home from the Olympics after raising their black-gloved fists in a symbolic protest during the U.S. national anthem. They called it a “human rights salute.”

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun asked them to serve as ambassadors as the federation tries to bring more diversity to its own ranks. They will join the team at the White House next Wednesday, then later that evening at an awards celebration in Washington.

The sprinters have been referenced frequently in the recent protests, spurred by Colin Kaepernick, during national anthems at NFL games. One player, Marcus Peters of the Chiefs, raised his own black-gloved fist before Kansas City’s season opener.

“I think Tommie and John have played an important and positive role in the evolution of our attitudes about diversity and inclusion, not only in the United States but around the world,” Blackmun said Friday night at a dinner to celebrate the U.S. performance in Brazil this summer.

MORE: Usain Bolt says he received offers to play wide receiver in the NFL (video)

Wilson Kipsang: I am very focused on the marathon world record

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The men’s marathon world record has been broken five of the last nine years at the Berlin Marathon.

Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, who broke the world record at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, believes that he can do it again on Sunday, when the race will stream live on the NBC Sports app beginning at 2:30 a.m. ET.

“I’ve trained well and, three years down the line from my world record here, I feel good and believe I have the potential to attempt the world record once more,” he said at today’s press conference, according to the IAAF. “Running at the top level, there is a lot of wear and tear on the body, especially when you are running for a time, but I am very focused on the world record.”

Kipsang clocked 2 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds when he broke the world record in 2013. A year later, fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto lowered it to 2:02:57 on the same course. Kimetto will not race in Berlin this year.

Kipsang will be challenged by Kenyan compatriot Emmanuel Mutai, who has the fastest time (2:03:13) in the field, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Bekele is a three-time Olympic track champion and the 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder, but acknowledged that his marathon personal best of 2:05:04 places him a distant fourth in the field.

“I consider my personal best of 2:05 to be slow compared to the best runners,” he said. “I want to run as fast as I can on Sunday and beat my best.”

MORE: Berlin Marathon to live stream on NBC Sports app