Marathon a fitting tribute

Sacramento (Calif.) Bee Published:

Monday's 118th running of the Boston Marathon displayed in full measure the resolve and unity meant by "Boston strong."

A year after explosions at the finish line killed three people and injured 264 others, an expanded field of more than 35,000 runners included victims and their relatives, first responders, others "personally and profoundly impacted" by the tragedy and nearly 5,000 runners who didn't get to finish in 2013.

Unprecedented security made sure that the race went off without incident, even with an estimated 1 million spectators lining the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Back Bay.

And in what can only be called a storybook ending, Meb Keflezighi of San Diego became the first American to win the iconic race since 1985. He wore red, white and blue, had names of bombing victims on his runner's bib and broke down in tears at the finish line.

"God bless America and God bless Boston for this special day," he said.

At times, events weighted with so much emotion and symbolism can veer off course. Monday's marathon stayed true, a sincere tribute befitting Patriots' Day.

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