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MARATHON WATCH: Teams run to honor bombing victims

April 21, 2014
Associated Press

A look at the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

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RUNNING TO REMEMBER: Teams of runners are taking part in the marathon in memory of each of the three people killed in the bombing, along with MIT Officer Sean Collier, who was slain days later during the manhunt for the suspects.

Team MR8 is running for the Martin Richard Charitable Foundation, which honors 8-year-old Martin's message of "No more hurting people — peace" by investing in education, athletics and community. A group from Boston University supports a scholarship fund that honors Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China. And friends of Medford native Krystle Campbell are running to raise money for a memorial fund in her name.

There is also a contingent from the Boston Fire Department, many of them first responders during last year's attack, who are running in memory of firefighters Michael Kennedy and Edward Walsh, who died in a recent blaze in the Back Bay.

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BACK IN BOSTON: Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the bombing, stood in the stands just past the finish line with his fiancee, Erin Hurley, and fellow amputee Adrianne Haslet-Davis. They were applauding runners as they crossed.

Bauman was wearing his prosthetics and had the help of two crutches. The group sat a few feet away from Carlos Arredondo, who helped save his life.

It was the first time Bauman had returned to the finish line area since the attacks.

"It feels great" to be back, he said. "I feel very safe."

— Michelle R. Smith and Steve Peoples

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LIVE FROM THE COURSE: Bill Kole, AP's New England bureau chief, is running the race — and tweeting from every mile. He reports: "Mile 17: Sign of the race: 'Dad, I'm pregnant.' And right before the dreaded Newton hills. Dang, dad."

— Bill Kole — https://twitter.com/billkole

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IN THEIR HONOR: Meb Keflezighi, who gave the Boston fans their first American men's champ in more than three decades, wore the names of four victims on his running bib. Written in marker in small, neat letters in each corner were Krystle, Lingzi, Martin and Sean.

Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi and Martin Richard were killed in the bombings during last year's race. MIT Officer Sean Collier was killed days later in the hunt for the bombing suspects.

— Steve Peoples — https://twitter.com/sppeoples

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RETURN TO FENWAY: Boston Marathon survivor Marc Fucarile is back at Fenway Park four days after marrying his longtime fiancee there.

The 35-year-old native of Stoneham, Mass., threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Red Sox's traditional morning game on Patriots' Day.

Fucarile lost his right leg in last year's bombings and walked with a prosthetic and a cane to the mound before the game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Then he handed his cane to a companion, wound up and threw to former Red Sox outfielder Kevin Millar. The pitch reached Millar on a fly, going high into the left-handed batters' box.

On Thursday, Fucarile married Jennifer Regan at Fenway. They had delayed their wedding while he recovered from serious injuries. Fucarile was the last bombing victim to be discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital.

— Howard Ulman — https://twitter.com/hbulman

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US CHAMP: Meb Keflezighi won the men's race, giving Boston its long-hoped-for American champion a year after the bombings.

No U.S. runner had won the race since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach took the women's title in 1985; the last American man to win was Greg Meyer in 1983.

The 38-year-old from San Diego looked over his shoulder several times over the final mile. After realizing he wouldn't be caught, he raised his sunglasses, began pumping his right fist and made the sign of the cross.

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JEPTOO REPEATS: Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended the title she said she could not enjoy a year ago after the fatal bombings.

Jeptoo finished Monday's race in a course-record 2 hours, 18 minutes, 57 seconds. She becomes the seventh three-time Boston Marathon champion.

— Pat Eaton-Robb — https://twitter.com/peatonrobb

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HOW HEARTBREAK GOT ITS NAME: Heartbreak Hill, the pinnacle of a series of hills that stretch about 4 miles through Newton, lives up to its name. After 16 mostly hilly miles, sore and tired thighs must now propel a racer up, up, up. It sure gets the heart pumping and can drain the best runner.

But it wasn't a physical blow that gave it its name.

During the 1936 race, hometown hero Johnny Kelley was looking for a repeat when he tangled with Ellison "Tarzan" Brown. Catching the Rhode Island phenom in the hills, Kelley patted his rival on the shoulder as he passed him on the final climb. But instead of discouraging Brown, it fired him up, and he passed Kelley. By the time they sailed past Boston College, Kelley was done. Boston Globe sportswriter Jerry Nason the next day described the defeat as "breaking Kelley's heart."

— Rik Stevens — https://twitter.com/RikStevensAP

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SECURE AREA: For all the talk of enhanced security, there were no metal detectors at some security checkpoints around the finish line Monday morning, nor were security guards patting down people or checking their pockets as they entered the secured area around where last year's bombing took place.

Such pat downs are common at large gatherings such as professional sporting events or concerts.

Security guards along the finish line focused instead on those carrying bags, which were searched before people were allowed to enter the fenced perimeter.

— Steve Peoples — https://twitter.com/sppeoples

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SCREAM TUNNEL: As waves of runners pass by, the noise from Wellesley College students has escalated and fans are going wild, rattling cowbells. One holds a sign that has a slot for a young woman's face, calling it a "kissing booth." Freshman Ashley De La Russo wipes sweat off her face after getting a big smooch from one runner who she says was pretty cute. "The energy here is amazing," said De La Russo, from Orlando, Fla. "I knew it was going to be a scream tunnel, but this is just unbelievable."

— Paige Sutherland — https://twitter.com/psutherland458

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PLAY BALL: The local baseball team has its traditional Patriots' Day morning start time Monday. Instead of wearing "Red Sox" across the chests of their home uniforms, the players' jerseys read "Boston," just as they did for the tribute to bombing victims at Fenway Park last April 20.

The reigning world champs host the Baltimore Orioles with the first pitch at 11:05 a.m.

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PARTY ON: Once out of the starting town of Hopkinton, security appeared no stiffer than in past years. The traditional party atmosphere was in full force.

Loud music blared from a pair of tree-mounted speakers. Up the road, a string band played. Fans hauled coolers, beach chairs, strollers, even grills to the yards and driveways along the course.

The wall of sound that is Wellesley College was in full throat, with hundreds of students screaming loudly enough to be heard a quarter of a mile away.

— Rik Stevens — https://twitter.com/RikStevensAP

 
 

 

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