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London marathon pays tribute to Boston victims

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The atmosphere of the London marathon was a combination of defiance and respect as 36,000 runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators thronged the streets of the capital a week after the Boston bombings.

A 30-second silence preceded the official start, and many runners wore black armbands to acknowledge the victims of the Boston attack. The marathon sponsors pledged to donate £2 for every finisher to the One Fund Boston charity set up to raise money for victims of the explosions.

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Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins spoke for many when she said, "It was just so devastating to see that on the news. But I think we all feel more than ever that we want to do this and show our support for Boston."

Security was tightened up considerably with more police on the streets and more searches, with considerable attention paid to rucksacks carried in the vicinity of the finish and the start.

The men’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede, who had also won in 2010. Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo won the women’s race in a time of 2:20.15, five minutes slower than Paula Radcliffe’s world record. The Olympic champion Tiki Gelana dropped out, struggling after a collision with a wheelchair racer at a drinks station.

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Olympic double gold medallist Mo Farah ran half the marathon to get used to the course and the special demands of the race before a concerted attempt at the full marathon distance next year. He said he had learned some valuable lessons, particularly about the procedure at the drinks stations. "I made a mess of it," he said. "I've learned the biggest lesson of my life, really. If I would have come out here next year and made a mess of it, mentally it's hard to deal with that. So it's a good practice for me."

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