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After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

AP - Meb Keflezighi of San Diego celebrates his victory in the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Meb Keflezighi of San Diego celebrates his victory in the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014.
AP - Runners compete near the start of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Runners compete near the start of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass.
AFP/Getty Images - Meb Keflezighi of the US, crosses the finish line to win the Men's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 21, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AFP/Getty Images</em></div>Meb Keflezighi of the US, crosses the finish line to win the Men's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 21, 2014.
Getty Images - Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
AFP/Getty Images - Rita Jeptoo of Kenya (Bottom-C) crosses the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 21, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AFP/Getty Images</em></div>Rita Jeptoo of Kenya (Bottom-C) crosses the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 21, 2014.
AP - Elite men runners leave the start line in the 118th running of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014, in Hopkinton, Mass. Fourth from left is eventual winner Meb Keflizighi.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Elite men runners leave the start line in the 118th running of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014, in Hopkinton, Mass. Fourth from left is eventual winner Meb Keflizighi.
Getty Images - Boston Police officers patrol a rooftop along Boylston Street near the finish line during the 2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Boston Police officers patrol a rooftop along Boylston Street near the finish line during the 2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Getty Images - The Elite Men's division starts the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Elite Men's division starts the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
AP - From left, Rita Jeptoo, Shalane Flanagan, Yeshi Esayias, Buzunesh Deba, Mare Dibaba, and Jemima Jelagat Sumgong run shortly after the start in the women's division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>From left, Rita Jeptoo, Shalane Flanagan, Yeshi Esayias, Buzunesh Deba, Mare Dibaba, and Jemima Jelagat Sumgong run shortly after the start in the women's division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass.
AP - Ernst Van Dyk, of South Africa, celebrates with his trophy after winning the men's wheelchair division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Ernst Van Dyk, of South Africa, celebrates with his trophy after winning the men's wheelchair division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
AP - Tatyana McFadden, of the United States, breaks the tape to win the women's wheelchair division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Tatyana McFadden, of the United States, breaks the tape to win the women's wheelchair division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
AP - Juli Windsor gets hi-fives from students lining Wellesley College during the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Wellesley.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Juli Windsor gets hi-fives from students lining Wellesley College during the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Wellesley.
AP - Dick Hoyt pushes his son Rick Hoyt, both from Holland, Mass., center, as they compete in the wheelchair division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. They are competing in their 32nd Boston Marathon and have said this will be their last.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Dick Hoyt pushes his son Rick Hoyt, both from Holland, Mass., center, as they compete in the wheelchair division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. They are competing in their 32nd Boston Marathon and have said this will be their last.
Getty Images - Law enforcement officials, media, runners, administrators and volunteers mill about prior to the start of the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Hopkington, Massachusetts. Today marks the 118th Boston Marathon; security presence has been increased this year, due to two bombs that were detonated at the finish line last year, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Law enforcement officials, media, runners, administrators and volunteers mill about prior to the start of the Boston Marathon  on April 21, 2014 in Hopkington, Massachusetts. Today marks the 118th Boston Marathon; security presence has been increased this year, due to two bombs that were detonated at the finish line last year, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.
Getty Images - Marc Fucarile, injured in last years Boston Marathon bombings, prepares to throw out the first pitch prior to the Boston Red Sox/ Baltimore Orioles game at Fenway Park April 21, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Marc Fucarile, injured in last years Boston Marathon bombings, prepares to throw out the first pitch prior to the Boston Red Sox/ Baltimore Orioles game at Fenway Park April 21, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Getty Images - A father carrying his son on his shoulder watches the scene at the starting line of the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Hopkington, Massachusetts.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>A father carrying his son on his shoulder watches the scene at the starting line of the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Hopkington, Massachusetts.
AP - A military policeman stands near the start line of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>A military policeman stands near the start line of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass.
AP - A Boston Police bomb detection dog sits near the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>A Boston Police bomb detection dog sits near the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
AP - Kevin Brown, of Brockton, Mass., gets an early seat near the finish line to watch the running of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston. Brown created the memorials to the 2013 bombing victims sitting near the the line, center rear.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Kevin Brown, of Brockton, Mass., gets an early seat near the finish line to watch the running of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston. Brown created the memorials to the 2013 bombing victims sitting near the the line, center rear.
AP - Mike Poitras, of Dracut, Mass., wears the slogan 'Boston Strong' on his head near the finish line before the start of 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Mike Poitras, of Dracut, Mass., wears the slogan 'Boston Strong' on his head near the finish line before the start of 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.

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By The Associated Press
Monday, April 21, 2014, 6:54 a.m.
 

BOSTON — Under heavy security that included a battery of surveillance cameras and police officers on rooftops, nearly 36,000 runners hit the streets Monday in the first Boston Marathon since last year's deadly bombing, sending a powerful message of resilience.

In what some saw as altogether fitting, an American won the men's division for the first time in more than 30 years, dominating a field that included many athletes who were prevented from completing the race last year.

“I showed up, I'm back, and I am going to finish what I didn't finish last year,” said Mary Cunningham, 50, of St. Petersburg, Fla., who was stopped a mile short of the finish line by the explosions on April 15, 2013.

The two pressure-cooker bombs that went off near the end of the 26.2-mile course killed three people and wounded more than 260 in a hellish spectacle of torn limbs, smoke and broken glass.

This year, police were deployed in force along the route, with helicopters circling above and bomb-sniffing dogs checking trash cans.

A total of 35,755 athletes were registered to run, the second-largest field in its history, with many coming to show support for the city and its signature sporting event. “Boston Strong” - the unofficial slogan adopted after the terrorist attack - was everywhere.

“I think I'm going to start crying at the starting line, and I'm not sure I'll stop until I cross the finish line,” said Katie O'Donnell, a doctor at Children's Hospital who was stopped less than a mile from the end last year.

At 2:49 p.m., the time the bombs went off, spectators observed a moment of silence at the finish line. It was followed by some of the loudest cheers of the day as people whooped, clapped and rang cowbells.

Joe Ebert, of Hampton, N.H., was cheering on his son-in-law near the spot in downtown Boston where the bombs went off. He was there last year, too.

“Just wanted to let them know that they can't beat us down. I think it makes us all stronger when something like that happens,” he said.

Also among the spectators near the finish line was Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the bombing. It was the first time he had returned to the area since the attack.

“It feels great” to be back, he said. “I feel very safe.”

Sabrina Dello Russo, 38, of South Boston, was running her first marathon for a good friend, Roseann Sdoia, who lost her right leg in the bombing.

“She is my inspiration from day one last year when I saw her in the ICU. Every run I do, she is in the back of my head, and she will be keeping me going today,” Dello Russo said.

While Gov. Deval Patrick said there had been no specific threats against the race or the city, spectators at the 118th running of the world's oldest annual marathon had to go through tight checkpoints before being allowed near the starting and finish lines.

Police along the route examined backpacks, particularly outside subway station exits. And runners had to use clear plastic bags for their belongings.

More than 100 cameras were installed along the course in Boston, and race organizers said 50 or so observation points would be set up around the finish line to monitor the crowd.

Runner Scott Weisberg, 44, from Birmingham, Ala., said he had trouble sleeping the night before.

“With everything that happened last year, I can't stop worrying about it happening again. I know the chances are slim to none, but I can't help having a nervous pit in my stomach,” Weisberg said.

Race organizers expanded the field from its recent cap of 27,000 to make room for more than 5,000 runners who were still on the course last year at the time of the explosions, for friends and relatives of the victims, and for those who made the case that they were “profoundly impacted” by the attack.

Kenya's Rita Jeptoo won the women's race in a course-record 2 hours, 18 minutes, 57 seconds, defending a championship from last year. She had been hoping this year for a title she could enjoy.

“It was very difficult to be happy. People were injured and children died,” she had said of last year's marathon. “If I'm going to win again, I hope I can be happier and to show people, like I was supposed to last year.”

American Meb Keflizighi won the men's title in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds. Cheers rose up as word of the first American man to win in Boston since 1983 spread through the pack of runners.

Keflizighi had the names of last year's victims written in black marker on the corners of his race bib.

On Twitter, President Barack Obama congratulated Keflizighi and Shalane Flanagan, the top American finisher among the women, “for making American proud!”

“All of today's runners showed the world the meaning of (hash)BostonStrong,” Obama wrote.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, is awaiting trial in the attack and could get the death penalty. Prosecutors said he and his older brother - ethnic Chechens who came to the U.S. from Russia more than a decade ago - carried out the attack in retaliation for U.S. wars in Muslim lands.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died in a shootout with police days after the bombings.

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