In 2013, the Boston Marathon turned to tragedy through a heinous act of terrorism. In 2014, the race emphatically showed the world that the city is resilient and unwavering in overcoming that tragedy; that Boston is Strong.
The scene at this year’s race was indubitably powerful. According to CBS, over 36,000 runners participated in the 2014 Boston Marathon. Onlookers could be heard chanting “U-S-A,” throughout the 26-mile course, and responders from the 2013 bombings stood at the finish line to be honored as heroes alongside victims by the race’s mighty audience.
American runner Meb Keflezighi won the Men’s race, perhaps fitting given the sense of national pride that surrounded the event throughout the week. His time of 2 hours and 8 minutes is the tenth-fastest recorded time in course history for men. Rita Jeptoo took first in the Women’s race with a time of 2 hours and 18 seconds, an all-time course record for women.
“The crowd was phenomenal,” Keflezighi later told James O’Brien of the Boston Athletic Association, the official hosts of the Boston Marathon. “The energy was just phenomenal. I used the energy.”
The 2013 Boston Marathon will forever be linked to the terrorist attack that struck near the finish line, a fatal detonation caused by one of two rice cooker bombs created and planted by radicals Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Three people were killed by the first explosion, and hundreds were injured. The gruesome scene was captured on video by onlookers, as well as the immediate help given by emergency responders that became a point of rallying for the grieving city. Those responders were honored at the Marathon one year later.
Security was ramped up for the 2014 Boston Marathon, with approximately twice as many officers on duty in comparison to last year’s event, according to CNN. On Tuesday, police arrested Kevin Edson, 25, for bringing a hoax device near the finish line where the bombs were detonated in 2013. Edson was due in court on Wednesday. After his arrest, the event was smooth, with the tone set by Edson’s threats erased and overcome.
“Congrats to all who partook in the 118th (Boston Marathon),” the Boston Police Department posted on Twitter following the conclusion of the 2014 race. “Your determination is what it means to be #BostonStrong.”