Thousands of runners, spectators, locals and first responders defiantly took back the streets a year after last year’s marathon was cut short by twin explosions which killed three people and injured over 260 people.
“Today has gone great; people have been great; everything is smooth” said Boston Police Officer Brian Lyndon. A 26-year-old veteran on the force, Lyndon, whose grandparents came from Inishmore Island on the West Coast of Ireland, was also on duty at last year’s event, but said any anxieties he had on working this year were soon forgotten, remarking, “We're having a good day today.”
Brian is one of a reported 3,000 plus uniformed and undercover police officers that lined the 26.2 mile route from the starting mark in Hopkinton to the finishing line on Boylston Street.
Along with the watchful eyes of the patrolmen, over 100 security cameras were installed along the course, runners had to use plastic bags to carry their belongings and spectators were subjected to bag searches at different junctions entering the race course.
However, the high-security presence couldn't interfere with the joyous mood of a city that was reclaiming its cherished event.
Over 1 million spectators lined the streets to cheer on the runners whilst basking in the spring sunshine and enjoying the celebratory atmosphere. Many attending the event chose to show their support for Boston by wearing t-shirts with ‘Boston Strong’ emblazoned on the front, others chose to remember the victims of the bombings by writing their names on their legs, arms and faces.
One of the 36,000 runners who took part in the historic marathon was Michael Cloherty, who had traveled over from Ireland for the occasion.
The Boston race completed a triple marathon challenge for the Irishman. A native of Galway, Cloherty has run in three countries in less than fifteen days to help raise funds for his neighbor, Katie O’Halloran, who was born without arms and is hoping to obtain prosthetic arms.
“To come to Boston for the finale really has put the icing on the cake.” Michael was met at the finish line on Boylston Street by Katie and her parents and admitted, “When I seen Katie, Katherine and Tom it was special.” And a special day it was for everyone who took part in the 2014 event.
As the crowds began to disperse in the late afternoon, volunteer Peter O’Malley, who has attended the event since 1985, reflected on this historic day in his adopted home. “It was very emotional……people really came out to show their support for Boston.”