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Thousands gather for this year's Boston Marathon

BOSTON (WGME) -- The field of runners was the second largest in the history of the race, but this year, emotions were running high.

Many of the runners and spectators came to honor the victims of last year's bombings, and they did it amidst the tightest security in the race's history.

This marathon is bittersweet after last year, there's a very noticeable increase in security, heavy police presence, but it's not taking away from the incredible energy.

This is Boston's big day, it's a beautiful day, and they've been waiting a year to take it back. 

The spirit of Boston, is stronger than ever

This 118th marathon was unlike any other, just one year after two bombs at the finish line killed three people and injured hundreds more.

Beefed up security meant more police on the ground and in the air.

And with 36,000 runners, this was the second largest field ever. 5,000 were invited back because they didn't get to cross the finish line last year.

Runners like Scott McLean conquered the 26 miles from Hopkinton to Boston thanks to support from one million spectators.

At Boston Common there were hundreds of prayer canvases, with messages of love and support for the city and come from all over the world.

Some will go hang at the airport and city hall.