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The results of the 127th Boston Marathon

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Now to Boston, where the beat of more than 30,000 pairs of feet hitting the pavement marked the running of this year's marathon. The 127th Boston Marathon was especially emotional because it's been a decade since a pair of bombs disrupted this race. From member station GBH in Boston, Esteban Bustillos has more on the spirit and the emotions of the big day.

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ESTEBAN BUSTILLOS, BYLINE: Marathon Monday is always one of the city's biggest days.

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BUSTILLOS: Even on damp, cloudy days like Monday, the energy is radiant at the finish line on Boylston Street as people from all over the world converge on the city for the race. This year, that included people like Kate Matheson, who traveled from Bristol, England, to run Boston for the first time.

KATE MATHESON: As I started my kind of marathon running journey - and it took me eight marathons to get an under four-hour time, which was quite exciting. And then it's taken me another four since then to get to Boston Qualifier, so I just - it was something, once I started running marathons, that I just wanted to be able to say I had done.

BUSTILLOS: There's thousands of stories like Matheson's. And this year, as the city reflected on 10 years since two bombs went off near the finish line, Boston celebrated how far it's come in its journey. Over the weekend, the city held special ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the bombing and unveiled a special seal just past the finish line to commemorate the decades since the attack. Sean Hicks, who lives in Virginia, ran Boston in 2013 and believes the city's resilience after the bombing helped to make the marathon what it is today.

SEAN HICKS: Some of the growth you've seen is, I think, just because of the spirit that responded to that, right? And I think you can see it even 10 years later, today.

BUSTILLOS: The race featured Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, who was the world's best marathon runner, but his fellow Kenyan, Evans Chebet, repeated as the men's champion. On the women's side, Hellen Obiri won despite running in just her second major marathon to cap off an exciting professional field. COVID canceled the in-person marathon in 2020, and every race since then has felt like a little step back to normality. This year was the closest Boston's come since, but with the 10-year anniversary of the bombing, there was still a general collective grief the city had to process. Next year, hopefully, it will be another big step towards healing, a day that can just be about the marathon again.

For NPR News, I'm Esteban Bustillos in Boston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Esteban Bustillos

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