After being canceled last year due to Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Marathon returned in spectacular fashion Sunday, hosting about 50,000 runners from all over the world. YNN's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- Close to 50,000 runners tested their mettle Sunday in the New York City Marathon.
Waiting at the finish line was a medal of a different kind, not to mention the pride that can only be found at the end of 26.2 difficult miles.
"A lot of headwind, I'm not quite used to that," said one person. "It was good. The fans were great. It's good to be in New York."
They were in every corner of it. After starting on Staten Island, runners crossed the Verrazano Bridge and hit the other four boroughs, a great way for the athletes from 115 countries to see the city.
"It's really amazing," said one person. "It's different from all others."
It takes more than carbs to fuel the runners, including several of our colleagues from YNN. Some run for a charity. Others run for the challenge. All of them receive extra inspiration from the millions of spectators who cheer from the curb.
"The crowds, for sure," said one person. "I feel like everyone knows me and I know them 'cause they're just screaming my name out so loud, chanting. So that's kind of what kept me going."
After the bombing in Boston, security at the event was extra tight. Participants and staffers carried clear bags, and helicopters circled overheard, helping those on the course and along it feel safe.
"I feel very safe. I think the security is really well done," said one person. "Everyone's really protected, and I really like it."
Boston was not only on runners' minds, but their clothing as well, with blue ribbons dotted among the crowd.
"This one's for the City of Boston," said one person.
Many have been training for the event for two years running. After last year's marathon was canceled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy; those dreaming of crossing the finish line vowed to come back.
"I just ran into two folks from Amsterdam, and they said, 'We were here last year, and it was so important to come back and honor New York and be here,'" said Mary Wittenberg, President of the New York Road Runners. "That's the kind of spirit we're seeing."
Of course, there were winners: Geoffrey Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo, both of Kenya. But one thing you won't find among this dedicated crowd are losers.
"There's a spirit in it, and there's a passion," said one person. "There's a camaraderie that comes with running with people."
"Today showed the power that running can have to bring the community together," said another.