"We thought, 'What's going on with marathons? Are we vulnerable, in danger?'" said Calderwood, 55, after finishing the London course. "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. People come from all over the world, work together to do something they couldn't do by themselves."
He said he put his hand on his heart as he crossed the finish line to honor the Boston victims: "I was thinking in the last mile about the kid that died, his name is Martin Richard and he used to run through every puddle he saw in the street. He loved to run. I ran that for him. ...This is for marathons and positive thinking."
David Wilson, 45, said there was no question of canceling the marathon. He noted that Londoners had come back onto the streets the day after the lethal July 7, 2005, transit system bombings and weren't easily cowed.
"You can't not do anything, because otherwise you'd stay on the outs all the time," he said.
But Chris Denton, a 44-year-old engineer stretching his legs by the start line, acknowledged an undercurrent of anxiety. He'd asked that his family not come out to support him because of a possible copycat attack. "I left them at home," he said. "If only for my peace of mind."
The men's race was won by Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede; the women's champion was Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo.
Among the participants in London was Tomasz Hamerlak of Poland, who finished fourth in the men's wheelchair race and had competed in Boston last week. He said he was determined to race in London.