So, about those security restrictions -- here's a quick anecdote from Alana Semuels:
They were told not to wear costumes but that didn't stop them.
One man wore a bumblebee costume, another was dressed in a Captain America Speedo and running shoes -- and nothing else.
Some wore the flags of their countries: U.S., Argentina, the Netherlands. Rafal Warzala, who normally captains a freighter ship, crossed with a Poland jersey but an American flag headband. He runs this marathon every year.
"That was the loudest ever," he said of the cheers as he crossed the finish line. He then hugged a friend, Lester Teskowski, who watched Warzala last year too -- from a spot about 20 feet from where one of the bombs went off.
"We wanted to come back," he said. "We are Boston Strong."
Meb Keflezighi wasn't the only runner paying tribute to last year's bombing victims. From Alana Semuels:
This was Freddie So’s 10th Boston Marathon and it proved to be his best time ever, 2:59. The 43-year-old stood with his medal by a restaurant on Boylston Street as a friend handed him a beer.
"I was running for the people who died," So said, showing a wristband he had taped to his wrist. On it were photos of the three people who died in the blasts, as well as a photo of a friend’s baby, who died exactly a year ago.
"They inspired me to keep going," So said.
At 2:49 p.m. -- the time that the bombs went off last year, changing everything for hundreds of people -- the crowd at the finish line paused this year, took off their hats, and remembered.
The moment of silence wasn't exactly quiet. There was still the sound of music floating from a store or two, and the click of camera shutters as the media clustered snapped photos around the site of the bombing.
But the noise afterward was deafening. Rallied by a man with a microphone, they cheered,
screamed, yelled and clapped, for a long time.
The announcer said, "I want you to make some noise to signify how this city has come forward and how it will."
"Take it forward," the announcer said, "with a yell that they will hear."
And the crowd complied, and the race carried on.