Security, black ribbons for Boston at London Marathon

A police officer patrols the Mall a day before the London Marathon April 20, 2013.REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
A police officer patrols the Mall a day before the London Marathon April 20, 2013.REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Runners wearing black ribbons held a 30-second silence to honor the victims of the Boston bombings before setting off on the London Marathon early today, under the watchful eyes of hundreds of extra police.

Around 36,000 runners were taking part in the London race, the first in the World Marathon Majors series since two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday killed three people and wounded 176.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service almost doubled the number of officers sent out to secure the event, saying this was to reassure the public and not a response to a specific threat.

The packed ranks of competitors bowed their heads and stood silently at the starting line, then clapped and cheered when a whistle marked the end of the tribute.

Seconds later, the world’s elite runners led off the race. Behind them came thousands of competitors chasing personal goals or raising money for charity, many running in fancy dress including challenging two-person camel and horse costumes.

“Wishing all involved in London Marathon a great day out, good luck if you’re raising money and Boston Marathon our thoughts are with you today,” said Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, on Twitter.

After an unusually long and harsh winter, the weather came through for the marathon which began under bright sunshine and a cloudless sky, a bonus for the competitors and for the hundreds of thousands of spectators expected to cheer them on.

The 26-mile course starts in leafy Greenwich, crosses Tower Bridge, snakes through the Canary Wharf business district before going through the heart of London, past Big Ben to Buckingham Palace.

Police with sniffer dogs were out in force and bins had been removed from the length of the course as part of enhanced security.

“The enhancement to policing, which will see several hundred additional officers on the streets, is intended to provide visible reassurance to the participants and spectators alike,” the Metropolitan Police said on its website.

There was a 40 percent increase in officers on the street compared with what was planned before the Boston bombings.

Before the race, competitors picked up their runner numbers and kit bags at the ExCel convention centre, where they were also provided with black ribbons.

At a message board inside the Excel, some runners had posted messages of solidarity such as “We’ll be thinking of those in Boston” and “Praying for Boston”.

The organizers will donate 2 pounds per finisher to The One Fund Boston, set up to raise money for the victims. They estimate around 35,500 people will cross the line, meaning they are likely to raise at least 70,000 pounds ($107,000). ($1 = 0.6554 British pounds)

(Editing by Andrew Heavens)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.