London, U.K. –
The London Marathon kicked off its annual race with a 30-second moment of silence and many runners and spectators wearing black ribbons to honor those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The London Marathon is the first in the annual series of primary races around the world and drew 36,000 runners and about 200,000 spectators along the 26-mile route which starts in Greenwich, crosses Tower Bridge, snakes through the Canary Wharf business district before heading to Big Ben and finally Buckingham Palace.
Police presence increased by 40% according to Scotland Yard, and the dog is sniffing K-9’s swept much of the route and areas of large crowds before the race started. Police removed dumpsters and other bins, boxes, and places where things could hide along the way.
Before the start of the men’s elite and mass races, official commentator Geoff Wightman led the crowd in a tribute to Boston.
“This week the world marathon family was shocked and saddened by the events at the Boston Marathon,” he said over loudspeakers.
“In a few moments a whistle will sound, and we will join together in silence to remember our friends and colleagues for whom a day of joy turned into a day of sadness.”
The packed ranks of competitors bowed their heads and stood silently for 30 seconds, then clapped and cheered when a second whistle marked the end of the tribute.
Related Florida news here