LONDON—The London Marathon got under way on Sunday after marking a 30-second period of silence to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks.
Elite and fun-runners alike, wearing black ribbons, stood in silence at the start line before setting off at 10:00 am (0900 GMT).
The 35,000-odd runners halted their last-minute warm-up routines and stood still in the sunshine in Greenwich Park, many closing their eyes.
“Marathon running is a global sport. It unites runners and supporters on every continent, in pursuit of a common challenge and in a spirit of friendship and fellowship,” the runners were told over the public address system.
“This week, the world marathon family was shocked and saddened by the events of the Boston Marathon.
“We will join together in silence to remember our friends and colleagues for whom a day of joy turned into a day of sadness.
“Let us now show our respect and support for the victims of the tragedy in Boston.”
The silence was started with a whistle and ended with huge cheers.
Race director Hugh Brasher said organizers had been in contact with Boston immediately after the bombing to offer their support.
After speaking to the police and the London boroughs that the race passes through, they decided to press on with Sunday’s race.
“A full security review has taken place and absolutely everyone was adamant that the show should go on, and it will be an amazing show,” he told BBC television.