More than 30K runners participate in 120th Boston Marathon

BOSTON (KUSI) — Monday — The community gathered Monday in Boston to celebrate, and participate in, the 120th Boston Marathon.

According to the Boston Marathon’s official website, 30,741 participated in Monday’s race, which starts in Hopkinton and passes through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton and Brookline before reaching the finish line on Boylston Street in Boston.

Ethiopian runners Lemi Berhanu Hayle and Atsede Baysa won the men’s and women’s titles respectively, according to CNN.

Through a translator, Baysa told WBZ that she is "very happy" and "very lucky."

"To win Boston is not easy," she said.

Many survivors of the 2013 attacks participated in the race, which was heavily guarded.

According to CNN, bombing survivor Adrianna Haslet was one of many impaired runners who started the race. Haslet is a professional ballroom dancer. She lost a leg in the bombing three years ago. She was one of 21 survivors who competed in the marathon.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Patrick Downes finished the race on the prosthetic blade he has needed since losing his left leg in the 2013 attacks, according to the Associated Press.

Related Link: 2016 Boston Marathon in pictures 

According to CNN, Downes and Haslet both were running to raise money for people with physical disabilities.

“I feel like I’m celebrating the body that I have left, and it feels spiritual,”Downes, of Bethesda, Md., told The Boston Globe before the race. “It feels triumphant.”

Friday — Friday April 15 marked the third anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured hundreds of others.

Family, friends and members of the community gathered at the City Hall Plaza to remember the horrific day three years ago.

“God of all human endeavors,” the Reverend Joseph White, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church, said to the crowd. “Hear the prayers of families who grieve. Hear the prayers of families, and those who move forward in grace.”

According to the Portland Press Herald, community members spent the day donating blood, gathering food and clothing donations and many other service activities around the town. The city proclaimed April 15 as "One Boston Day."

At 2:49 p.m., a citywide moment of silence marked the time when the first bomb detonated, while church bells rang in the background.

On April 15, 2013 two pressure cooker bombs went off approximately 12 seconds apart and 210 yards from the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Related Link: "Look back at the Boston Marathon bombings" by the New York Daily News

Following the attack, the FBI took over the investigation. Surveillance footage from the area captured photos of two suspects, who were later identified as Chechen brothers, Dzhokar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The attacks killed 23-year-old Lu, 8-year-old Martin Richard, and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell. MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was killed by the bombers several days later as they attempted to flee the area.

Shortly after their photos were released, the Tsarnaev brothers killed Officer Collier and carjacked an SUV, which prompted an exchange of gunfire with police in the nearby town of Waterton. During the gunfire, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot several times iand his brother subsequently ran him over with the stolen SUV in his escape. Tamerlan died shortly after arriving at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev was arrested on April 19 and indicted on April 22 on 30 charges relating to homegrown terrorism. He was found guilty on all charges on April 8, 2015, and the following month was sentenced to death.

“It’s a time to keep moving forward with the resiliency that served us so well in 2013, to keep moving on to better days,” Thomas Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, as reported by The Globe. 

On Monday, April 18, 30,000 runners will gather to race in the 120th Boston Marathon, according to www.baa.org.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Jody Stoops of Yorba Linda, California, will join the runners on Monday. She crossed the finish line in 2013 just moments before the blasts.

Related Link: Bombing survivor to make racing return at Boston Marathon 

“I feel like I’ve come full circle,” she said, wearing her blue and yellow 2013 marathon jacket like many in the crowd. “The first year after was very emotional. But this year, I’m filled with joy and excitement to run. I’m not anxious. I’m not nervous. I’m not scared. I feel like I’m coming home.”

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