Montreal Gazette

London Marathon will run despite Boston attack


LONDON — The London Marathon is to go ahead as scheduled Sunday with Prince Harry greeting the winners at the finish line near the main gate of Buckingham Palace after organizers, political leaders and security officials held a day of urgent meetings in the wake of Monday’s deadly Patriots Day terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon that left three dead.

The decision to “push ahead” was made as a show of trans-Atlantic solidarity, according to organizers. They said racers will observe a moment’s silence before embarking on the marathon. The runners are to cross the Thames as it wends its way from southeaste­rn London through the centre of London, reaching Westminste­r and Big Ben before looping around St. James’ Park, to the finish on the Mall, a couple of hundred metres away from the palace main gate.

Security for the British race — arguably the second most popular marathon in the world after the race in Boston — is a nightmare at the best of times, with half a million spectators strung out along the 26.2-mile route.

The fear is not only that whoever was behind the attack in Boston might strike again in the United Kingdom. It is that the tragedy in the U.S. might inspire copycats to try the same thing here. “We want to reassure people that we have good plans in place,” Metropolit­an London’s police commission­er, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, told reporters Tuesday.

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