Nightly News   |  April 21, 2014

‘An Honor to Be Here’: Marathon Spectators Cast Aside Fears

This year’s marathon had extraordinary security, but both the runners and the 1 million spectators remained undeterred.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> day in boston. the one day every year when the boston red sox play at 11:00 a.m . at fenway park and they run the boston marathon . this year, today, there was a lot of unfinished business to attend to. memories were lingering, even in the beautiful clear sky over the length of the event and especially at the finish line . the scene of a terrorist bombing last year, well, today went back to being a place where they celebrate human achievement. raheema ellis is there tonight and here to start us off. good evening.

>> reporter: good evening. after a year of preparations for runners, police, spectators, today is about defiance. and celebration.

>> reporter: the first american man to win the boston marathon in 31 years but the record-breaking victory not just for himself, but ran with the name of the three people killed last week along with the name of the mit officer allegedly killed by the bombing suspects.

>> we will never forget the courage strength and resilience we've seen this past year.

>> reporter: before the race began, the crowd stopped to remember.

>> how is this for boston strong?

>> reporter: this year's marathon had extraordinary security and 3500 law enforcement officials. national guardsmen secured the area, bomb sniffing dogs on patrol and bags inspected at 40 points around the city. but none of it detoured the 1 million spectators that lined the marathon route, or some 5,000 runners who came back to finish a race they were forced to stop last year. sheila of plano, texas was one of them a quarter of a mile away from reaching her goal.

>> i have two girls so even for me beg here today was difficult out of fear for them because they were scared for mom to come back and run.

>> reporter: bob ran for his son's best friend, 8-year-old martin richard. the youngest of the victims, he ran for team mr 8 a foundation to honor he has message for peace. it has to do something for your spirit as you run today.

>> it does.

>> reporter: chicago moms are also part of the 100-member team.

>> it's really hard to even describe it. it's such an honor to even be here.

>> reporter: even near the finish line where the bombs exploded. any apprehension about being here?

>> not at all.

>> reporter: while the chaos wasn't far from people's minds, they were determined to move forward with a single purpose turning tragedy into triumph for the racers and the city. brian, other official winners of the marathon today included reeta zeptune and tatanya mcfadden as a wheelchair winner.