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Memories of Safe Olympics Assure London Runners

By Rob Harris
Associated Press
April 18, 2013

LONDON (AP) -- Any anxiety runners have about competing in the London Marathon after the Boston bombings is being allayed by the successful security measures at last year's Olympics.

The elite runners have arrived in London for Sunday's race and heard assurances from the British government that security is being stepped up after two explosions near the finish line of Monday's Boston Marathon killed three people and wounded more than 170.

"The security that they have I believe is the best one - as we saw last year in London (at the Olympics)," world champion Edna Kiplagat said Thursday. "I know what we saw in Boston has given London the need to be prepared and I believe they are now prepared for anything that can happen

"I hope that they have set the security to be (high) and we expect it to be in the warmup area, the course and at the finish-start line, and even everywhere in the city. It's better that there is maximum security."

Organizers have been holding regular meetings with the authorities since the Boston attack, and extra police will be visible along the 26.2-mile course.

"We are reassured that, as a result of the experience we have got, not just through the marathon but also through the Olympics, that we have the right people in place to make sure this event is the great success that it is," Culture Secretary Maria Miller told the House of Commons.

Olympic champion Tiki Gelana said it's not easy to put Boston out of mind.

"As a human being you feel sorry for the people affected because of what happened. You think about it now and then," she said. "But I am here to run, I am an athlete.

"You come to London and London is a big marathon to win. Even with what happened in Boston, you come here to win."

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