Security was ramped up, bomb-sniffing dogs made their rounds and a moment of silence was observed before the first runners kicked off the annual O.C. Marathon on Sunday.
Boston, it seemed, was on everyone’s mind.
Kimberly O'Donnell, a 23-year-old Harvard graduate who ran in the 2012 Boston Marathon, was one of many who ran Sunday’s race in tribute to those who were killed and injured in last month’s bombing.
"I really wanted to run this race for 'Boston Strong,' " said O'Donnell, who finished the Newport Beach-based marathon in 2 hours, 47 minutes, 13 seconds. "I was thinking about [Boston] a lot today."
Kevin Havel, a 23-year-old Laguna Niguel resident, won the marathon with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 34 seconds. He said his thoughts also strayed to the marathon bombing in Boston.
O'Donnell and Havel, as well as other runners, said they were not concerned with a copycat terrorist incident taking place at Sunday's race. The majority of runners also didn't appear to be worried.
"My heart hopes [Boston] wasn't really running-related," O'Donnell said.
"There's nothing that's going to stop me from running marathons, and I think that's a mentality that all runners have.”
Liz Camy, a 29-year-old Camarillo resident who won the women’s half-marathon Sunday, said the moment of silence made her reflect.
"Obviously, what happened in Boston will always be in the back of my mind," she said. "But you can't live in fear."
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