London Marathon Marked By High Security, Memories Of Boston

NPR icon by Bill Chappell
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Peter Macdiarmid

The London Marathon observed 30 seconds of silence before the race got under way Sunday, in a show of solidarity with those injured in Monday's Boston Marathon. Many runners and spectators wore black ribbons to honor the three people killed and the more than 170 injured in two bombings in Boston.

Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia won the marathon, taking his second victory in the race. The marathon drew 36,000 participants, of which organizers expect about 34,500 to finish the race. The London Marathon is donating £2 for every finisher to The One Fund Boston, which supports the bombing's victims and their families.

As the BBC reports, Boston Marathon women's wheelchair winner Tatyana McFadden repeated her first place with a victory in London.

"You know this whole weekend was dedicated to Boston and we got huge support from London," she said. "So, I couldn't be happier - just getting support. It was just a wonderful day."

In the aftermath of the Boston attack, security was heightened for the London race, with officers on hand to secure the area for the runners and an estimated half a million spectators.

Perhaps the most alarming thing about Sunday's London Marathon were reports that Mo Farah, the British runner who won gold in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter events at the London Olympics last summer, had overslept and missed the start of the race.

News reports about Farah's predicament spread quickly after Farah yelled to a BBC radio journalist that he was late and might miss the bus.

"Just to clarify, I had breakfast at 5am today, my comment about sleeping in was just a joke," Farah tweeted later. "I was one of the first athletes on the bus to the start."

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