The News: A year after the bombing, spectators lined the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon course through eight cities and towns to cheer one of the largest fields of runners in race history.
We’ve concluded this live blog coverage.
It’s the final marathon finish for Team Hoyt.
A few minutes ago, the father-son duo crossed the finish line, where they were mobbed by supporters and the media. Our Asma Khalid shares this photo:
Team Hoyt says it took them longer than expected… but they were saying goodbye to folks along the race course… pic.twitter.com/wuNeFfdysL
— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) April 21, 2014
We profiled the legendary team earlier this month. They’ve been marathon stalwarts since 1981.
Seven members of the Boston University community were chosen to run in honor of Lu Lingzi, a graduate student who was killed in last year’s bombing. Ryan Shea graduated from BU in 2011:
— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) April 21, 2014
Shea won his bib after submitting an application video to BU that showed him running a spur-of-the-moment 26.2 miles on a treadmill — with no training — just days after the marathon bombings. Read more about Shea and BU’s Lu Lingzi team here.
Thousands of runners are still making their way toward the finish line. Here’s a scene from Commonwealth and Mass Ave that was shared on our real-time map about 10 minutes ago:
Watch WBZ-TV’s live finish line camera here.
Seated on one of the grassy lawns near the marathon’s starting line in Hopkinton, Janet Bourette, of Shrewsbury, sat back in the sun with her husband after watching the final wave of runners take off. It was her first time cheering on runners at the Boston Marathon.
“I’ve always wanted to come,” Bourette said. “And this year was more important, more special. I decided I really wanted to be here to support the runners.”
She said watching the marathon was a fun and amazing experience for her that brought tears to her eyes.
“There are no words, the camaraderie and everybody being together running as one, it’s just amazing how people can come together and unite as one,” she said.
Kelly Swanson, of Wilbraham, has been attending the Boston Marathon with her family every year since she was born.
She’s carried on the tradition with her own children, and at the start in Hopkinton she said this year’s police presence was far greater than she’d ever seen before. Swanson said it made her feel safe, but that she’d feel safe regardless.
“We come every year, a lot of [my family members] have run too,” Swanson said. “It makes you feel proud to be a Bostonian. I’m glad to see everybody here and that the whole thing with terrorism didn’t scare people away.”
She said people came out to support the marathon and its runners “in full force” and that the large attendance shows how positive the event is for the community.
WBUR’s Martin Kessler has been checking out the scene at Heartbreak Hill this afternoon:
— Martin Kessler (@MartinKessler91) April 21, 2014
As “Sexy and I Know It” blasted from speakers and spectators danced on the side of the road, the first wave of runners climbing Heartbreak Hill couldn’t help but smile, pump their fists, and blow kisses — even though they had already run 20 miles, even though they were still climbing to the summit, and even though they still had 6.2 miles left to race.
On this notoriously difficult stretch of the Boston Marathon, the atmosphere has been festive. Spectators along this part of the route seem to have embraced their unique position, encouraging runners up the hill with energetic claps and loud music.
And at the bottom, spectators cheered out of admiration.
“You’re going to make it. The hard part is over,” one onlooker repeated as runners streamed past.
“Just a 10k with a 20m warm-up” a sign read.
Security at this part of the course was noticeable but unobtrusive. Uniformed officers patrolled the street but no incidents to report so far.
Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dancer who lost her left leg in last year’s bombing (and recently danced on her new bionic leg), tweeted this photo with fellow survivor Jeff Bauman:
— AdrianneHD (@AdrianneHaslet) April 21, 2014
Bauman, who visited us at WBUR last week, lost both his legs in the attack.
The AP reports:
… They sat a few feet away from Carlos Arredondo, who helped save his life.
As he walked away from the finish line under his own power, his prosthetics showing, Bauman said it felt “great” to be back. He also said he felt very safe.
Husband and wife Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, who each lost a leg in last year’s bombing, rolled across the finish line on handcycles this afternoon:
WBUR’s Sacha Pfeiffer spoke with Downes and Kensky earlier this month about their recovery, and how their new service dog has helped them cope over the last year.
“To have a dog like him around, you laugh 10, 20, 50 times more a day, and you can’t help but have that lift the mood,” Downes said.
Read the full story here.
The Oranges come out at mile 3! Thank you!!! pic.twitter.com/NDpM2kMw18
— Dr. Natalie Stavas (@nataliestavas) April 21, 2014
Dr. Natalie Stavas made it to mile 26 last year when the bombing ended her marathon. She then pushed her way through to the blast site. She spoke with us earlier this month:
… a police officer tried to stop me coming out of the alley, and I yelled at him. I said, “I’m a doctor. I’m a kids’ doctor. Let me help.” I ended up doing CPR on one woman who unfortunately, tragically, passed away that day. And then saw four other people who had groin injuries and lower extremity injuries. It’s amazing because suddenly it was over. It was just, I stood there, and it was like there was nothing else left to do. It was over.
She’s back this year, and tweeting while running. You can follow her here.
Another, Bill Kole, the AP bureau chief for New England, is also tweeting his marathon. You can follow him here.