News / USA

One Year Later, Boston Marathon Makes Comeback Run

Meb Keflezighi of the United States celebrates after winning the 2014 Boston Marathon, April 21, 2014. (Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
Meb Keflezighi of the United States celebrates after winning the 2014 Boston Marathon, April 21, 2014. (Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
Victor Beattie
Some 36,000 runners from 96 countries took part Monday in the 118th Boston Marathon. Security was tight at the event, following last year’s bombings near the finish line that killed three and wounded more than 260.

An estimated one million people were expected to line the 42.2-kilometer route, from the town of Hopkinton east to Boston’s Boylston Street.

Meb Keflezighi crossed the finish line first, becoming the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in three decades. Keflezighi was born in Eritrea but is now a U.S. citizen.

He wore the names of the bombing victims on his race bib and said last year's attack made him extra motivated to win this year.

"It was not just about me," said the San Diego resident. "I was going to give everything I could for the people."

On the women's side, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended the Boston Marathon title she won a year ago but said she couldn't enjoy at the time because of the fatal bombings. Race organizers allowed about 9,000 more runners this year, including roughly 5,000 athletes who were not able to finish last year when twin pressure-cooker bombs went off near the finish line.
 
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said heightened security at the event included more uniformed and plainclothes police scattered throughout the race’s route, as well as a ban on backpacks and large containers near the finish line. Appearing on the CBS program "Face the Nation" a day before the race, Patrick talked about how safe he expected the race to be.
 
  • Meb Keflezighi of the U.S. reacts as he wins the men's division at the 118th running of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • Meb Keflezighi of the U.S. (right) is congratulated after winning the men's division of the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.  Keflezighi is the first U.S. male athlete to win the Boston Marathon in three decades, Boston, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • Runners in the first wave of 9,000 cross the start line of the 118th Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • A State Police Special Response team patrols past posters of encouragement at Wellesley College before the start of the 118th Boston Marathon, Wellesley, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • Workers move security gates into position in front of Wellesley College in the early morning before the start of the 118th Boston Marathon, in Wellesley, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • Participants in the wheelchair division of the 118th Boston Marathon start their race, in Hopkinton, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • The second wave of runners make their way down Main Street during the 118th running of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • Boston police officers, part of the K-9 unit, patrol Boylston Street near the finish line before the start of the 2014 Boston Marathon, Boston, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • Till T. Teuber of Hamburg, Germany, prepares himself before the 118th Boston Marathon, in Boston, Mass, April 21, 2014.
  • Spectators crowd along the Boston Marathon race route to cheer on the runners, April 21, 2014. (Carolyn Presutti/VOA)
  • Elite men runners leave the start line in the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Mass., April 21, 2014.
  • Andrew Lembcke (left), Brandon Petrich (middle) and Bill Januszewski hang a Boston Strong banner before the start of the 2014 Boston Marathon, Boston, April 21, 2014. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY)

"We’ve tried to strike a balance between enhanced security and preserving the family feel of this day. One commentator, a friend of ours Mike Barnicle, described the marathon as a 26.2-mile long block party, and there are no strangers here. So, we want to maintain that spirit, but also have considerably more rigor because of the attention the marathon got last year, and the tragedy that ensued, and the demands that we think are quite reasonable for enhanced preparation for this year," said Patrick.
 
2014 Boston Marathon

 
  • 36,000 official entrants
  • 10,000 volunteers
  • 3,500 security personnel
  • 1,900 medical personnel
  • Generates an estimated $142 million for local economy

Source: BAA.org

Patrick said there were no known pre-race threats that would cause concern. Last Tuesday, following a memorial service marking the one-year anniversary of last year’s marathon tragedy, police arrested a man with a backpack near the finish line. It contained a rice cooker and was deemed safe.

On April 15, 2013, two explosive devices allegedly hidden in backpacks by two brothers of Chechen descent, 26-year Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his 20-year old brother, Dzhokhar, detonated, sending metal fragments through a crowd of bystanders near the finish line on Boylston Street. Several people lost limbs. 
 
The blasts set off a multi-day manhunt that ended with Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead from a shootout with police and Dzhokhar being arrested in a Boston suburb. He is due to go on trial in November on 30 federal charges and could face the death penalty. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Sites of 2013 Boston Marathon bombingsSites of 2013 Boston Marathon bombings
Scott Kennedy, one of the marathon runners, felt participating in this year’s marathon would send a message.
 
"Just to show the terrorists that they can’t win. I saw a picture a few weeks ago that said ‘We need to take our finish line back,’ and that’s what I think that 36,000 people are going to do tomorrow, is take the finish line back," said Kennedy.

Watch Carolyn Persuitti's related video:
Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runnersi
X
April 22, 2014 12:03 PM
Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.

Canadian runner Mark Rush said the bad guys were not going to take this race away, while British runner Mark Hazelhurst said everyone was aware of what happened last year and people wanted to turn out to run, to celebrate running and celebrate the city of Boston.
 
Another runner, Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to Washington, said he was taking part to show solidarity with Americans.

Reuters contributed to this report.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: david1221
April 22, 2014 10:13 AM
In my opinion all these security costs marathons unjustified, but also the most perfect system sometimes faltering. It is best to address the root of the problem, we need to understand why people are satisfied with the terrorist attacks and pay attention to this.

by: meanbill from: USA
April 21, 2014 10:38 AM
FALSE BRAVADO? -- Millions of dollars spent, and over a thousand extra security personal, and hundreds of cameras and monitors, just to run a race?
(IT makes you think?) -- "Just to show the terrorists they can't win" -- Are all these security measures taken because of fear, or are all these security measures taken, to show our bravery to run a race? -- (false bravado, or bravery?).

by: Mrs. Lohan from: Merrick, NY
April 21, 2014 10:35 AM
Why is there no mention of the Tsarnaev brothers being on the CIA payroll months before the so-called "bombing" happened, in this article, VOA?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs