LONDON — They crossed the line in front of Buckingham Palace with black ribbons on their chests and the Boston Marathon victims on their minds.

Six days after bombs exploded near the Boston finish line, the London Marathon sent out a powerful message of solidarity with the U.S. city and its victims Sunday and put the spotlight back on the sport and away from terrorist fears.

The men's race began with a poignant 30-second period of silence to remember Boston's dead and injured and ended with a thrilling finish.

Under clear blue skies, Tsegaye Kebede chased down Emmanuel Mutai in the closing stages and overtook the tiring Kenyan to secure a second London title on The Mall in 2 hours, 6 minutes and 4 seconds, while compatriot Ayele Abshero was third.

"What happened in Boston, it shocked everybody – I didn't want to believe it," said Kebede, who also won in London in 2010. "Sport is not like that – sport is not political. Sport is free from everything. We have to focus more on sport. This is for them (in Boston).

"This is education for those who made this accident."

The women's race was won by Olympic silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya in 2:20:15.

About 34,000 runners competed in London, and organizers pledged to donate 2 pounds ($3) for every finisher to "The One Fund Boston" set up to raise money for the bomb victims.

Before the silence at the start of the race, announcer Geoff Wightman urged athletes to "remember our friends and colleagues for whom a day of joy turned into a day of sadness."

Tributes to Boston were visible all around the course, including a banner that said: "Run if you can, walk if you must, but finish for Boston."

"It speaks volumes for London and this race," London Marathon chief executive Nick Bitel said. "It was the perfect response to the horrors we saw in Boston. This shows the solidarity with the British and American people."

Prince Harry mingled with the crowds and said he had never thought about canceling his visit following the bombings.

"It's fantastic, typically British," he said. "People are saying they haven't seen crowds like this for eight years around the route. It's remarkable to see."

Hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the route and showed they would not be cowered.

"I was surprised to see so many people there," said Mutai, who blamed hip and thigh problems for losing his lead near the end. "But I think what gave the people guarantees is, after what happened in Boston, the people came out to say in terms of security everything is fully covered."

Police manpower was increased by 40 percent to provide a security operation that, while noticeable, was not intrusive along the 26.2-mile course.

Several of those competing in the wheelchair race had raced in Boston last Monday. It seemed fitting that American Tatyana McFadden, who won the women's wheelchair race in Boston, marked her 24th birthday with a second title in a week on Sunday.

"There was never a doubt that I was not going to run," she said. "And I was going to run for the people back in Boston – the people who lost loved ones or who are newly injured."

In the women's marathon, Jeptoo was a runaway winner ahead of compatriot Edna Kiplagat and Japan's Yukiko Akaba.

"I was surprised so many people on the way cheering us," Jeptoo said after clocking the fastest time this year. "And that shows there was no fear for those people."

The only blot on a day marked by the defiance of athletes was the dispute that broke out during the women's race.

Olympic champion Tiki Gelana was angry that her hopes were thwarted by a collision about a third of the way in with Canadian wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy as she went to get a drink.

The Ethiopian finished 16th after losing ground on the leading pack, while Cassidy had to settle for 20th in his race.

"The safest thing would be to have the chairs start first because one of these years a woman is going to have a leg broken, a career ruined," Cassidy said. "It's just not worth having this program if the races are going to suffer."

___

Rob Harris can be reached at http://twitter.com/RobHarris

Loading Slideshow...
  • Runners observe a 30 second silent in memory of Boston Marathon bombings before the start during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • In this picture taken with a fish-eye lens runners pass the Houses of Parliament and the nicknamed "Big Ben" clock tower during the London Marathon in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. London's is the first major international marathon since the double bomb attack near the finish line in Boston, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured, including many who are still hospitalized. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, centre winner with Ayele Abshero of Ethiopia, right, second and Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya third, pose for the photographers men's London Marathon in the Mall, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence before the race, and many wore black ribbons as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Tsegaye Kebede

    Tsegaye Kebede of Ethopia, hobbles to receive his award for finishing first at this year's Virgin London Marathon, in central London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Runners pass through the 25 mile point during the London Marathon in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. London's is the first major international marathon since the double bomb attack near the finish line in Boston, USA, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured, including many who are still hospitalized. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Runners head towards the Houses of Parliament and the "Big Ben" clock tower at the 25 mile point of the London Marathon in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. London's is the first major international marathon since the double bomb attack near the finish line in Boston, USA, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured, including many who are still hospitalized. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Runners pass underneath a banner referring to the Boston Marathon bombing during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • A runner cools down running through water sprays on the route during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Runners cool down running through water sprays on the route during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Prince Harry, Emmanuel Mutai

    Britain's Prince Harry, right congratulates Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya, after this year's Virgin London Marathon, in central London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • A police officer watches runners pass by during the London Marathon in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. London's is the first major international marathon since the double bomb attack near the finish line in Boston, USA, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured, including many who are still hospitalized. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • A competitor dressed as a shark runs the London Marathon Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. In the background is Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Cecile Brisson)

  • Competitors in the London Marathon run through the streets of Rotherhithe in south London Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence before the race, and many wore black ribbons as a sign of solidarity. (AP Photo/Tony Hicks)

  • Competitors in the London Marathon run through the streets of Rotherhithe in south London Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence before the race, and many wore black ribbons as a sign of solidarity. (AP Photo/Cecile Brisson)

  • Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia winner of the men's London Marathon holds his country's national flag as he poses for photographs on the podium after the medal ceremony in the Mall, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence before the race, and many wore black ribbons as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Tsegaye Kebede of Kenya crosses the line to win the men's London Marathon in the Mall, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence before the race, and many wore black ribbons as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, second right, winner of the men's marathon, Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya, second left, winner of the women's marathon with Britain's Prince Harry, left, and British businessman Richard Branson, right, pose together after the medal presentations for the London Marathon in the Mall, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence before the race, and many wore black ribbons as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Tsegaye Kebede of Kenya puts his arms out as he celebrates after winning the men's London Marathon in the Mall, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence before the race, and many wore black ribbons as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Edna Kiplagat of Kenya crosses the line as she comes second in the women's London Marathon in the Mall, in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the recent bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence, and many wore black ribbons as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Yukiko Akaba of Japan crosses the line as she comes third in the women's London Marathon in the Mall, in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. Thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston. The race began after a moment of silence for the victims in Boston, and many here wore black armbands as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Priscah Jeptoo prays after she won the women's London Marathon in the Mall, in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. Thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston. The race began after a moment of silence for the victims in Boston, and many here wore black armbands as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Priscah Jeptoo crosses the line to win the women's London Marathon in the Mall, in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the recent bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago, as thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston, with a moment of silence for the victims in Boston, and many wore black ribands as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Yukiko Akaba of Japan crosses the line as she comes third in the women's London Marathon in the Mall, in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday as the London Marathon began on a glorious spring day despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. Thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston. The race began after a moment of silence for the victims in Boston, and many here wore black armbands as a sign of solidarity.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Tsegaye Kebede

    Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia runs in the elite men's race during the London Marathon, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Kebede won the marathon in 2:06:03. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Yukiko Akaba

    Yukiko Akaba of Japan runs in the elite women's race during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Mai Ito

    Mai Ito of Japan runs in the elite women's race during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Tsegaye Kebede

    Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia runs in the elite men's race during the London Marathon, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Kebede win the marathon in 2:06:03. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • A runner wears a black ribbon in memory of the victims of Boston Marathon bombings starts the race during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Runners wear black ribbons in memory of the victims of Boston Marathon bombings start the race during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • A runner wears a black ribbon in memory of the victims of Boston Marathon bombings starts the race during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • A runner wears a black ribbon in memory of the victims of Boston Marathon bombings starts the race during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • British police officers maintain their usual guard at the gates of Downing Street near the route of the London Marathon in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. The London Marathon started in defiant mood on a glorious sunny morning Sunday despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. London's is the first major international marathon since the double bomb attack near the finish line in Boston, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured, including many who are still hospitalized. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Fun runners dressed as a camel and a dog, set off at the start of this year's Virgin London Marathon, at the Green Start Line, in Greenwich Park, east London, Sunday, April 21, 2013.(Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Katherine Jenkins

    Katherine Jenkins, centre, at the Green Start Line of this year's Virgin London Marathon, , in Greenwich Park, east London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Katherine's father passed away with lung cancer and she is running for cancer charity Macmillan. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Lulu a member of a British police explosive dog search team patrols with her handler during the London Marathon in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. The London Marathon started in defiant mood on a glorious sunny morning Sunday despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. London's is the first major international marathon since the double bomb attack near the finish line in Boston, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured, including many who are still hospitalized. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Katherine Jenkins

    Katherine Jenkins runs this year's Virgin London Marathon, at the Green Start Line, in Greenwich Park, east London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Katherine's father passed away with lung cancer and she is running for cancer charity Macmillan. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Trisha Bunn

    Trisha Bunn who ran in the Boston marathon, shows her support in this year's Virgin London Marathon, at the Green Start Line, in Greenwich Park, east London, Sunday, April 21, 2013.(Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Amy Childs

    Amy Childs runs this year's Virgin London Marathon, at the Green Start Line, in Greenwich Park, east London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Katherine's father passed away with lung cancer and she is running for cancer charity Macmillan. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • Mo Farah

    Britain's Mo Farah, center, starts the elite men race during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • The elite women's marathon runners start their race during the London Marathon, London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. The London Marathon started as planned on a glorious sunny morning Sunday despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Volunteers in bright yellow get ready prior to the London Marathon in the Mall in London, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Security has been stepped up in London following the recent bombs at the Boston Marathon. The London Marathon started as planned on a glorious sunny morning Sunday despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Virgin London Marathon 2013

    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A runner in the London Marathon is carried over the finish line by medical staff on April 21, 2013 in London, England. Thousands of runners are taking part - with some wearing black ribbons as a mark of respect to the Boston victims. Extra police are on duty as an estimated 500,000 people line the streets of the capital. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • ATHLETICS-GBR-MARATHON

    Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the line to win the women's race in the 2013 London Marathon on The Mall in central London on April 21, 2013. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE / NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Virgin London Marathon 2013

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21: Mo Farah (C) approaches the halfway point after crossing Tower Bridge during the Virgin London Marathon on April 21, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

  • Virgin London Marathon 2013

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21: Priscah Jeptoo of Kenay wins the Womens Elite race at the 2013 Virgin London Marathon on April 21, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Virgin London Marathon 2013

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21: Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya wins the Womens Elite race at the 2013 Virgin London Marathon on April 21, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)