CHICO, Calif. - An emotional day as runners took the course for the 118th Boston Marathon one year after terror bombings killed three and injured more than 200.
The race started with a moment of silence before 36,000 people started the 26.2 mile course.
More than a million spectators were expected. That was double the usual amount, and security was intense with more than a hundred security cameras monitoring the course, and 4,000 police officers on patrol.
Three of the runners in the marathon were from Chico.
Cindy Courtain said there was a strong connection among the runners that returned this year. Although she didn't beat her time, she was happy to be back.
Last year, Courtain crossed the finish line two minutes before the first blast went off. That inspired her to return this year to Boston to show everyone that fear should not stand in the way of running one of the biggest races in the sport.
"I couldn't believe the amount of people there," Courtain said.
Courtain started the race around 11 a.m. As she waited for her race to start, the announcer read off all the numbers of those who survived the bombings last year. Courtain heard hers right before the start of her race.
"It was just a great feeling," Courtain said.
She and the other returning runners got bracelets that were made of the flags that were hanging in last year's race. They also received scarves from a local church.
"They just gave me the scarf. There were 36,000 scarves being knitted," Courtain said.
Courtain said she wasn't too impressed with her time this year, but she added there was no greater feeling than crossing that finish line Monday morning.
Courtain said that she will not be returning next year to the Boston Marathon. She said that she is going to stop running marathons for now after 10 years of competing in them.