Thousands turn out in Boston to finish Marathon they started

THOUSANDS of runners returned to Boston's streets this weekend to complete the symbolic final mile of the city's annual marathon, which was brought to a bloody halt last month when two bombs went off near the finish line.

The blasts on 15 April killed three people and injured hundreds. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother Dzhokhar, 19, immigrants of Chechen origin who lived in nearby Cambridge, were identified as suspects in the bombings.

Tamerlan was killed during a gun battle with police just days after the attacks, while Dzhokhar was later caught in a Boston suburb following a huge manhunt. He is accused by prosecutors of using a weapon of mass destruction, a charge that could carry the death penalty.

Authorities say the brothers mounted the attack using homemade bombs contained in pressure cookers.

As part of the city's efforts to recover from the bombings, some 3,000 runners and bomb victims shrugged off the rain on Saturday to gather at Kenmore Square. From there, they ran or walked to the finish line on Boylston Street in downtown Boston, where they were greeted by cheering crowds.

Among those taking part in this weekend's event, which was called OneRun, was Rosy Spraker, who was half a mile from the finish line of the 26-mile race when the bombs went off.

Despite not crossing the finish line her medal was later mailed to her by the organisers.

"Now I fee like I've earned my medal," she told the Associated Press. "I wanted to run for the victims, for freedom, to show the world that nothing is going to stop us."

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