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Five things to know from the NYC Marathon

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DOUG FEINBERG | November 3, 2013 04:50 PM EST | AP


NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City Marathon returned after a one-year absence and went off without a hitch.

The city shined in all its splendor for a national television audience, a year after the race was canceled because of Superstorm Sandy.

Here are five takeaways from the race.

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SECURING THE RACE: From bomb-sniffing dogs to officers with automatic weapons, there was a much greater police presence along the NYC Marathon course to keep the runners and fans safe. Officials were taking no chances after the Boston Marathon bombings in April.

Security was tightest at the start and near the finish line, where garbage trucks blocked entry to Central Park and everyone had to walk through numerous check points to watch the end of the 26.2-mile race.

Yet even with the tight measures, fans turned out in droves.

"In fact, the first when I saw Commissioner (Ray) Kelly, I said, They have a lot of confidence in you. This city has a lot of confidence in you," said Mary Wittenberg, president of organizer New York Road Runners. "I kept taking a video along the way. I literally have never seen that kind of (fan) depth in Brooklyn and in parts of Queens."

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UNEQUALED SUCCESS: American Tatyana McFadden completed an unprecedented marathon "Grand Slam." The 24-year-old Maryland resident won the NYC Marathon women's wheelchair race Sunday after taking the titles in Boston, London and Chicago in 2013. No other athlete has won those four races in the same year.

"I've had an incredible year, especially with the track season and with the marathon season," McFadden said.

She also was the 2010 champion in New York.

McFadden had the lead most of the race, and she said she tired around Mile 16 until she hit the crowds near First Avenue.

"I mean, people were shouting my name, and it was absolutely wonderful that they knew the racers and that they knew me," she said.

Born with a spinal defect and left at a Russian orphanage as a baby, McFadden was adopted by an American family and got involved in swimming, basketball and track. She's a senior at the University of Illinois.

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RECORD RUNNERS: A record 50,740 competitors took part in the race, nearly 3,000 more than the previous mark set in 2011. Among them was Julissa Sarabia, who was the 1 millionth person to start the race in its 43-year history.

Marathon officials honored the 30-year-old, who was running her first marathon, with a framed plaque and automatic entry into next year's race.

"I hit the wall but my friends cheered me on," said Sarabia, who finished in 5 hours, 19 minutes. "Thought this was my first and last marathon. Started running when I moved to New York from Florida eight years ago."

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RUNNING FOR A CAUSE: Many runners Sunday were competing for charity, raising funds for a variety of causes. Among them was actress Pamela Anderson. The 46-year-old mother of two was competing in her first marathon and was supporting fellow actor Sean Penn's J/P Haitian Relief Organization.

The former Baywatch star didn't break out her famous red bathing suit for the race, but did complete the course in 5 hours and 41 minutes.

Former Tennessee star Kara Lawson's sister and husband ran the marathon to raise money for the Pat Summitt Foundation.

Reality TV star Bill Rancic became the latest person to start out last in the race and earn money for every person he passed. Rancic finished in just under 5 hours and earned $30,000 from Timex for Fab-U-Wish, a cancer charity started by his wife, Giuliana Rancic, that grants wishes to women with breast or ovarian cancer.

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KEEPING UP WITH THE KENYANS: Men's winner Geoffrey Mutai felt a little pressure to come out on top again in New York. After all, his training partners had won the Chicago and Berlin Marathons earlier this fall.

"Those are my colleagues, my training mates, and we're cheering each other," Mutai said. "When he wins, we congratulate the other a lot."

Mutai already owned the course record at New York, which he set two years ago. He wasn't able to surpass it on the windy day, finishing in 2:08.24.

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