Among the many runners who arrived early at the starting line of the Boston Marathon this morning, were more than 550 people from Connecticut.
For the first time since 1983, an American man won the marathon. Meb Keflezighi, an Olympic marathon runner, has won with an unofficial time of 2:08:37, which would be a personal record, as well as the second fastest time by an American male at Boston.
Rita Jeptoo, of Kenya, won the women's race, setting a course record of 2:18:57.
This is 118th Boston Marathon, but the first running since the bombings last April and security is tighter than ever along the whole route, from Hopkinton, Mass. to the finish line in downtown Boston.
Liz Hebert, of Darien, decided after the bombings last year that she had to run this year.
"I was just very emotional, even taking the buses here. There are people in houses waving and holding signs," she said. "I think every runner has to be here. It's a huge race. It's a milestone race, I think the running community has to prove to the world that nothing can stop us."
Holly Salegna, of Norwich, is also feeling the emotion.
"All of the love and support is just filtering through my head right now. There's definitely a lot of emotion here, and in Boston in general," she said.
Police presence is heavy along the racecourse, helicopters flew overhead this morning and barriers line the 26.2-mile route that 36,000 runners will soon take.
All the security is not detracting the 577 Connecticut runners who have signed up, including Matthew Lynch, of West Hartford.
He’s run the course five times and said the tragedy has only united the runners even more.
“This really cemented that and made everyone that much closer and that much more determined to show that we’re going to go out there and we’re not going to be afraid of this running. (Which) is really a celebration of life,” he said.
John Williams, of West Hartford, ran the marathon last year, but was unable to finish because of the bombings. Today, he plans to finish what he started last year.
"People said, when you get to Kenmore Square, you have a mile left and I pumped my first in the air. I knew I had it, and then all the sudden, we got stopped so you know this year it’s going to be kind of the same way when I get to Kenmore Square, I’m going to be pumping my fist," he said.
More than 1 million spectators are expected and several roads along the route will be closed. If you are going, check the list here.
Spectators are scanned with metal detectors and bags must be clear. No backpacks are not permitted this year.
Learn more about the 2014 Boston Marathon here.
Boston Police are asking anyone who sees something out of the ordinary during the Boston Marathon to text ‘BOSTON’ to 69050 or call 911.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 21, 2014
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