April 21, 2014 By Emoke Bebiak, McClatchy News Service
The first wave of the 36,000 runners participating in the 118th Boston Marathon crossed the starting line under tight security on Monday, a year after a deadly bombing disrupted the race.
A moment of silence was held to honour the victims before the athletes, many of whom vowed to run in defiance of the attack, set off to complete the 42-kilometer course.
In the women's field, Shalane Flanagan of the United States was leading 1 hour 30 minutes into the race. Ethiopians Buzunesh Deba and Mare Dibaba and defending women's champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya followed close behind.
In the men's elite group, Meb Keflezighi and Josphat Boit of the US were in the lead after passing the 19-kilometer mark.
The men's elite field also includes defending men's champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, who won the Chicago Marathon in October.