The winner of the men’s 2013 Boston Marathon returned his medal to Mayor Thomas Menino today to honor the city and the victims of the brutal terror attack near the Boyston Street finish line.
‘‘Sport holds the power to unify and connect people all over the world,’’ Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia told the crowd through a translator. ‘‘Sport should never be used as a battleground.’’
More than 6,400 athletes gathered on Boston Common for the B.B.A. 10K, the city’s first major race since the April 15 bombings. Most runners wore the blue and gold colors of the Boston Athletic Association, the nonprofit that organizes the annual marathon. Spots for the race sold out in 13 hours online.
‘‘Let me tell you: As mayor of this great city for the last several years, I have never seen Boston come together like it has after the attacks,’’ Menino said. ‘‘Thank you for making Boston stronger.’’
A moment of silence was held to honor the three victims killed in the bombings as well as MIT Officer Sean Collier, who was shot and killed April 18 in a search for the suspects.