Relaymedia

'We're BostonStrong': Thousands Run Boston Marathon One Year After Bombings

( [email protected] ) Apr 21, 2014 04:51 PM EDT

Boston Marathon
(Photo: Boston Marathon/Facebook)

Nearly 36,000 runners set out from the Boston Marathon starting Line on Monday, one year after the bombing that killed three and injured hundreds of others.

A moment of silence was held in memory of the victims before the race began along the 26.2-mile course. According to Fox News, security was noticeably heightened, with helicopters visible circling overhead as well as bomb-sniffing dogs checking through trash cans.

Thousands of people attended the event to demonstrate support for the event and the city that was devastated by the attack during the marathon, the city's famous annual event.

"I can't imagine the number of emotions that are going to be there," said Katie O'Donnell, who was stopped less than a mile from the end last year. "I think I'm going to start crying at the starting line, and I'm not sure I'll stop until I cross the finish line."

However, spirits were high as an American won the men's division for the first time in more than three decades.

"We're taking back our race," said race director Dave McGillivray. "We're taking back the finish line."

Buses with the words "Boston Strong" emblazoned on the side dropped off runners at the starting line, and signs with messages like "You Earned This, Boston!" hung from nearby buildings.

"The city is still in recovery mode," said South Boston resident Erica Frierson. "While this is an exciting time, it's hard to forget the horror of last year. But while we are still grieving, but, we truly are Boston strong."

Sabrina Dello Russo was running her first marathon for Roseann Sdoia, who lost her right leg in the bombing.

"She is my inspiration from day one last year when I saw her in the ICU. Every run I do, she is in the back of my head, and she will be keeping me going today," Dello Russo said.

Signs bearing the words "We Are Boston Strong" and "Run for Peace" inspire runners as they cross the finish line.

 "I did a lot of talking this year, but running has helped me resolve a lot of things in my head," says Peter Riddle, a 45-year-old Bostonian who suffered post-traumatic disorder following the bombings last year. "Running the marathon this year and running down Boylston Street will help me find peace and help me move forward."