There was a moment of silence at the starting line. A small tactical unit was stationed at the finish line. But in between, the George Washington Parkway Classic 5K and 10 Mile races passed off without incident, as they have in each of the 28 prior years of its existence.
"It never crossed my mind for a second to be afraid to be out here," said runner Christie Roberts. "I imagine that's the case for most folks."
Before bombs went off Monday at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, Sunday's race had been meant to honor Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy, who is still recovering after being shot in the line of duty February 27. The final mile of both races was dubbed the "Laboystrong Mile" and customized race bibs were sold to raise money for the officer's recovery.
However, organizers did their best to ensure that the victims of the marathon tragedy were remembered. Blue and yellow ribbons, the colors of the Boston Marathon, were available for racers to wear, and the donning of any Boston gear was encouraged. Runners were also encouraged by organizers to donate to The One Fund, established by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino in the hours after the bombing.
"If nothing else, [we] won't be afraid to come out and support those who weren't able to finish [Monday] and say 'we're not going to be afraid in this area.'"
Across the Atlantic, the London Marathon was run amid heightened security and following a 30-second silence in tribute to the Boston victims. One banner spotted on a bridge above the course read: "Run if you can/Walk if you must/But finish for Boston."
American Tatyana McFadden, of Clarksville, Md., won the women's wheelchair race in London. Six days earlier, she had been the first to break the tape on Boylston Street in Boston, hours before the bombs went off.