Published on April 22, 2013 | by Henry Fry

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London Marathon 2013: running with respect

Despite security concerns after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, nothing stopped thousands of runners and supporters coming to the 2013 London Marathon yesterday.

American Woman supports sister in marathon

Laura Sittinger supports sister who ran in both Boston and London marathons [image:Henry Fry]

Dressed as brides, super heroes and air-hostesses, competitors took to the streets to complete the 26-mile race through the capital.

The atmosphere was jubilant as spectators waved and cheered on loved ones from behind barriers and a notably increased police presence.

Kathleen Zolynska, 53, looked out for her daughter as the course snaked past Buckingham Palace.

“I’m not worried [because of Boston]. The day it happened it made me nervous. But after that I thought it would be fine,” she said. “My brother ran here a few years ago – there’s definitely more police this time”.

Some runners sported black ribbons to show respect for the three killed in last week’s attack, and a 30 second silence was observed before the start of the race in Greenwich Park.

Costumes added colour to an event locals and visitors were determined to enjoy.

A group of airhostesses waved flags as their colleague ran past and elsewhere, three spectators dressed as giant dogs amused children and posed for pictures.

Writer Nicci Cloke, 26, a first-time runner in the marathon, said she welcomed the police presence and that it was, “reassuring to see them along the course”.

She went on to say: “It was an amazing experience – harder than I could ever have imagined but the atmosphere was incredible and finishing was so emotional.

“The events in Boston were horrendous and I did initially feel a bit nervous about security in London but the organisers were fantastic at keeping us updated and reassured in the days leading up to the marathon.”

Nicci Cloke, marathon runner

“The silence for Boston at the beginning of the race was incredibly moving and I think it made everyone even more determined to finish.”

At the race’s finish on the Mall, people had come from all over the world to show their support for the runners and solidarity for those killed in Boston.

Waving American flags and holding a sign stating, “I stand with Boston”, Laura Sittinger and her family had flown over from Washington DC and wanted to pay their respects for the Boston runners.

“My sister ran the Boston marathon last year and watched this year. She had just walked away from the finish line when the bomb went off. She is in the London marathon now so we came to show our support” she said.

Commenting on people’s reaction to her sign, she said: “The people here are just so amazing. It’s been fabulous”.

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