April 21, 2013

London Marathon: Tributes to Boston, extra security

By ROB HARRIS, The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Tsegaye Kebede of Kenya puts his arms out as he celebrates after winning the men's London Marathon on Sunday,

AP

Moments before the majority of runners set off on the grinding course, announcer Geoff Wightman used the loudspeakers to ask for a moment of silence. He described marathon running as a global sport that unites runners and supporters in every continent in a spirit of friendship.

As those gathered responded to his call, the only noise that could be heard was the buzz of helicopters and the beeping of a truck.

Security was plentiful but not intrusive near the finish line at the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. Marathon staff, officials and journalists had their bags checked, a process not deemed necessary at the event last year. Officials said this was in response to the Boston attack.

Marathon organizers plan to donate money to a Boston fund set up to help the bombing victims. They said they did not consider canceling the London event, which is a highlight of the sporting calendar.

In a smaller event in Germany, some 15,000 runners were participating Sunday in the Hamburg Marathon. They wore armbands with the slogan "Run for Boston."

Extra security was added and there was no disruption. Hamburg organizers have said that they know of only eight people who pulled out because of the Boston bombings.

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