Spectators settle in early

BOSTON -- Though the race hadn’t even started yet, Joe Medwetz and Anthony Tom were already in position.

Settled into lawn chairs just beyond the barricade, bags of takeout at their feet, the pair settled in to wait for Jennifer Tom, Anthony’s daughter and Joe’s girlfriend, at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth just past the finish line.

“We got here a little bit early, just to play it safe,” said Medwetz, a native of Lahaina, Hawaii. “We didn’t want to miss this race this year.”

This is Jennifer Tom’s sixth consecutive Boston. She was able to finish last year, and Medwetz and Anthony Tom were there to see her cross the finish line. But in the scrum after the line, the trio had trouble reuniting. So this year, the men set up past the finish line.

They were a little worried about getting their chairs through the increased security, but Anthony Tom said they had no issue.

Neither man was worried about their safety in the crowds on Boylston Street today.

“Not at all,” said Anthony Tom, a retired government worker who lives in Maryland.

And despite the ending last year, Jennifer Tom never doubted she wanted to be back.

“She was immediately like, ‘I’m definitely coming back,’ ” Medwetz said.

Hours to go yet, her men will be there to see her 26.2 miles later.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.