New York City Marathon starts amid heavy security

Christy Pasion of New York leaps across the Christy Pasion of New York leaps across the finish line after completing the New York City marathon. (Nov. 3, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Security was a top priority Sunday at the start of the New York City Marathon amid cool temperatures and a stiff wind from the north, officials said.

This year's race marked the return of the marathon after a one-year hiatus due to superstorm Sandy.

The 47,000 runners are also competing for the first time since the April Boston Marathon bombing, which left three people dead and more than 260 injured.

Runners had to file through a security checkpoint before the start. Blue police department barricades blocked intersecting streets and police cruisers and ambulances were evident along the route.

The heavy security included a bomb-sniffing dog near the finish line and barricades around Central Park limit entry points, bag checks and scuba divers in the waters. There are also some 1,500 cameras along the running route, police officials said.

Shortly before 9 a.m. the first wave of wheelchair or handicapped racers zipped by Fourth Avenue and Union Street on wheels.

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At 9:10 a.m. the professional women began their run, with the professional men starting at 9:40 a.m. Wave 2 of marathon runners went off at 10:05 a.m. with Wave 3 at 10:30 a.m and Wave 4 leaving at 10:55 a.m.

The race starts at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island and goes through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and back in Manhattan.