BOSTON (AP) - Boston Marathon organizers vowed to continue the race next year, calling the world's oldest and most prestigious annual marathon "a deeply held tradition (and) an integral part of the fabric and history of our community."
"We are committed to continuing that tradition with the running of the 118th Boston Marathon in 2014," Boston Athletic Association head Tom Grilk said on Tuesday.
About 2½ hours after the winners of Monday's race reached Copley Square at the end of their 26.2-mile run from Hopkinton, two explosions on Boylston Street turned the finish line into a blood-stained scene of death and destruction, killing three and injuring more than 100 others. Dozens remained in hospitals on Tuesday, while federal and local authorities investigated what President Barack Obama called a terrorist attack.
"It is a sad day for the City of Boston, for the running community, and for all those who were here to enjoy the 117th running of the Boston Marathon," Grilk said in a statement. "What was intended to be a day of joy and celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little importance."
Those still running on the course at the time of the blasts were diverted from the final stretch or stopped. On Tuesday, Boylston Street was still closed off to traffic and guarded at each intersection by police.
Grilk thanked the police and fire departments who responded to the catastrophe, along with the B.A.A. volunteers and medical staff. "We would like to thank the countless people from around the world who have reached out to support us over the last 24 hours," he said.
"Boston is strong. Boston is resilient. Boston is our home," he said. "And Boston has made us enormously proud in the past 24 hours."