Emotions are expected to run high at Boston Marathon on Monday (21 April) as the race is held for the first time since two explosions last year killed three people and injured 264 others. Organisers have reassured participants that security will be extra vigilant at the event and the safety of the 36,000 participants running from Hopkinton to Boston is paramount.
Race director, Dave McGillivray, commented on safety concerns: "I believe this will be the safest place on the planet on April 21."
Monday will see the biggest field of competitors at the race since the 100th anniversary in 1996, and they will be cheered on by an expected two million people along the route. Around 4,781 runners from last year’s race are expected to return to Boston for the marathon, including last year’s winners Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya.
Albuquerque marathoner Sarah Hartford will also be returning after finishing 7 minutes before the bombs went off last year. She admits to initially having reservations about taking part again: "My first thought [about returning to Boston] was, 'Oh my gosh I could never do this again.' My second thought was, 'Of course I'm going to do this again,'"
Originally from Boston, Sarah summed up the city’s defiant spirit, saying: "I'm from Boston, and that's what people from there are. They're pretty tough."