Security personnel use bomb-sniffing dogs to check vehicles at the Mall in central London, Saturday, where the London Marathon finish line will be. / Lefteris Pitarakis AP
More than 35,000 runners will take the streets of London on Sunday morning, many wearing black ribbons in honor of victims in last week's Boston Marathon bombings.
The race will begin with a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston blasts that killed three and injured more than 170 people. The London Marathon, which begins with the elite women's start at 4 a.m. ET, will be held six days after the explosions at the Boston finish line. The men's elite field and mass start will go off at 5 a.m. ET.
London Marathon organizers will donate 2 pounds for every finisher to The One Fund Boston, a charity that is raising money for victims and their families. Registration closed with 35,079 accepted applicants.
London's 26.2-mile course, which begins in the city's southeast Blackheath district and ends at Buckingham Palace, will be heavily guarded by police. Met Police will have 40% more officers on duty than last year, the BBC reported.
London is known as a flat, fast course. In 2003, Britain's Paula Radcliffe set a women's world record on the London course, winning in 2:15:25. In 2011, Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya set a course record of 2:04:40.
The elite men's field includes eleven runners - all from Kenya or Ethiopia - who have personal-bests of under 2 hours, 6 minutes. Wilson Kipsang of Kenya returns after winning in 2:04:44 last year, four seconds off the course record. All three London Olympic medalists from last year - Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich, Kenya's Abel Kirui and Kipsang - are running Sunday.
In the women's race, Olympic gold medalist Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia is the favorite. She won the Rotterdam Marathon in April 2012 in 2:18:58, making her one of just four women in history to have broken 2:19.
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