LONDON -- The race was in London, but the thoughts of many were with another city.
Thousands of runners who took part in the London Marathon on Sunday paid tribute to those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon six days earlier. Participants paused for a moment of silence in the beginning, many wore black ribbons on their chests as a sign of solidarity, and two runners finished carrying a banner that read "For Boston."
The mood was festive, defiant -- and the surging crowds who turned out on the glorious spring day to line the route roared enthusiastically.
"It means that runners are stronger than bombers," said Valerie Bloomfield, a 40-year-old participant from France.
London's is the first major international marathon since two bombs exploded near the finish line in Boston.
Some 35,000 runners took part in the London race, which also drew tens of thousands of spectators -- many regulars said it was the biggest and most enthusiastic crowd in years. Many said they made a point of turning up to show they were not afraid.
"We can't look back. We must look forward," said Tomasz Hamerlak of Poland, who finished fourth in the men's wheelchair race and who had competed in Boston last week. "The show must go on."
Authorities in London boosted the police presence by 40 percent and adding extra surveillance as precautionary measures, but in the end all went peacefully.
Mark Cliggett, from Seattle, was back on the track Sunday after witnessing the attack in Boston. Cliggett, 51, said he was within 200 meters of the finishing line there when the bombs exploded.
"Last week was horrible, and people's lives have been changed in ways that can't be undone," he said after completing the London race. "I wanted to come out and just show: No, we're going to keep running, we're going to keep doing this."
Stuart Calderwood, an editor with a New York running magazine who has run in eight Boston Marathons, said that the recent carnage there made him and his friends more determined to run in London.
"My group that came here, we just decided this is going to make us better. We're going to say marathons are the opposite of bombing and hostility and terror," Calderwood, 55, said after finishing.