High-security London Marathon sees first winners | News | DW | 21.04.2013
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High-security London Marathon sees first winners

The first medals of London’s marathon have been won during a race run amid increased security after last Monday's attacks in Boston. The race features 36,000 runners in front of tens of thousands of spectators.

Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo, the silver medalist at last year's London Olympics, took a clear victory with a time of two hours, 20 minutes and 13 seconds. Fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat took second place, and Japan's Yukiko Akaba finished third.

Runners observed a half-minute of silence at 10 a.m. (0900 UTC) before the starter's flag dropped on the elite runners and mass races at the London Marathon's three starting spots.

"We want to show our support for our friends and colleagues in Boston at this difficult time for the global running community," London Marathon director Hugh Brasher said ahead of the race. "We are determined to deliver an amazing event that will focus on one of the core pillars of the London Marathon, which is to have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world."

Search dogs sniffed the London Marathon's course, and officials removed bins from the 26-mile track, from Greenwich to Buckingham Palace via Tower Bridge and the Canary Wharf business district. Scotland Yard police headquarters decided to boost the officer count by 40 percent - no numbers have been given - following the bomb attacks at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded around 180 last Monday.

Purely precautionary

Police have decided to stick with the plan to increase security despite the death of one suspect and the capture of another in the Boston attacks. Scotland Yard has not suggested, however, that the two men posed any threat to London.

Prince Harry, third in line to the English throne, was scheduled to present the medals. According to his office, there had not been any changes to that plan following the Boston bombings.

Organizers have encouraged runners to wear black ribbons and announced that for every finisher, 2 pounds (2.33 euros, $3.04) will go to a fund for victims of the Boston attacks.

mkg/msh (AFP, Reuters)