After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

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After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security
BOSTON - APRIL 21: Meb Keflezighi, of the United States, crosses the finish line to win first place in the men's race of the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, 2014. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Meb Keflezighi, of San Diego, Calif., breaks the tape to win the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON - APRIL 21: Meb Keflezighi, of the United States, holds up an American flag at the finish line and wears his crown and medal during his victory ceremony after finishing first place in the men's race of the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, 2014. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)(metro)
Rita Jeptoo, of Kenya, bereaks the tape to win the women's division of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Runners make their way to load onto busses ahead of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Runners make their way to load onto busses ahead of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Trent Morrow of Sydney, Australia, also know as “Marathon Man” laughs as Andrea Olivo of Venezuela tugs on his cape as she has her photo made ahead of Monday's 118th Boston Marathon, Sunday, April 20, 2014, in Boston. Morrow says Monday's marathon will be his 200th run since Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Tears collect on Ron McCracken's of Dallas cheek as he pays his respects at a makeshift memorial honoring to the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings ahead of Monday's 118th Boston Marathon, Sunday, April 20, 2014, in Boston. McCracken's race last year was cut short due to bombings and Monday's race will mark his 14th year running in the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A visitor hangs a message on a tree at the "Dear Boston" exhibit at the Boston Public Library, Sunday, April 20, 2014, in Boston. The exhibit features a collection of items from the marathon bombing memorial. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Runners cue to board busses ahead of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Nancy Antos, of Boulder, Colo., displays her bib to run in Monday's 118th Boston Marathon after picking it up Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Boston. Antos was six blocks from the finish line in last year's race, but did not finish when race officials stopped all runners after two bombs exploded near the finish line. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Actor Kevin Spacey applauds Boston Marathon bombing hero Carlos Arredondo at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Tribute Run in Boston, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
High school runners limber up before the Invitational Mile race Saturday, April 19, 2014, in advance of Monday's 118th Boston Marathon in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Doug Julian carries his partner, fellow survivor Lynn Crisci, toward the finish line during the Boston Marathon Tribute Run in Boston, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Chrissie Blevins, of Powhatan, Va., displays her bib to run in Monday's 118th Boston Marathon as she picks it up Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Survivors Erika Brannock, left, and Rebekah Gregory DiMartino, embrace in their wheelchairs as they head to the finish line of the Boston Marathon Tribute Run in Boston, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elite women runners leave the start line of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Police officers give a rundown of the scene at Wellesley College to a State Police Special Response team before the start of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Wellesley, Mass. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
The 118th Boston Marathon gets underway as the mobility impaired runners leave the start line behind Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Race officials wire the electronics for the start line before the 118th Boston Marathon begins Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Mobility-impaired runners gather at the start line for a moment of silence before the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Meb Keflezighi of the United States, center, runs with eventual winner Geoffrey Mutai, left, of Kenya along 4th Ave. in the Brooklyn borough of New York during the New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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BOSTON (AP) - For years, state and local officials have conducted a "tabletop exercise" before the Boston Marathon, a meeting that allows them to study a map of the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston's Copley Square and plan for emergencies that could arise during the race.

So many new people needed to attend the session this year that they moved it from the state's emergency bunker in Framingham to the a convention center in the city. The crowd grew from what usually is about 100 to more than 450, according to Boston Athletic Association executive director Tom Grilk, who is in charge of organizing the race.

"Whether you have a small group or a big group, the spirit is the same," he said this month in an interview at the athletic association's office, about two blocks from the finish line. "And that is: How do we get our event done well?"

Boston Gov.: Marathon May Be 'Safest Place In America'

One year after a pair of homemade pressure cooker bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others, turning a day of athletic triumph into one of tragedy, the Boston Marathon returns to the streets on Monday. For the 118th edition of the world's oldest annual marathon, security along the course will be tighter than ever.

"There'll be considerably more police presence," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "But we also don't want to have it, you know, kind of a race through a militarized zone. So it's about striking a balance, and I think we have struck that balance."

Runners attending the event will have to use clear plastic bags for their belongings, and fans hoping to watch near the finish line are encouraged to leave strollers and backpacks behind. More than 100 cameras have been installed along the route in Boston, and 50 or so "observation points" will be set up around the finish line "to monitor the crowd," the Boston Athletic Association said.

Patrick said there have been no specific threats against the race or the city for the Massachusetts holiday of Patriots' Day.

"We're not taking that as a sign to sort of stand down," he said. "We're very prepared, and we're assuring people as much as we can that it'll be a fun day and a safe one."

About 36,000 runners have registered for the race - the second-largest field in its history, many of them coming to show support for the event and the city that was shocked by the attack on its signature sporting event. Race organizers expanded the field from its recent cap of 27,000 to make room for more than 5,000 runners who were still on the course at the time of the explosions, for friends and relatives of the victims and for those who made the case that they were "profoundly impacted" by the attack.

Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, who crossed the finish line on Boylston Street about three hours before the explosions, will return to defend their championships. Desisa returned to Boston last fall to donate his first-place medal to the city as a gesture of support.

Jeptoo, who also won the race in 2006, said she is hoping for a third victory - and one she can enjoy.

"It was very difficult to be happy. People were injured and children died," she said of last year's marathon. "If I'm going to win again, I hope I can be happier and to show people, like I was supposed to last year."

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