5 Inspiring Moments From The 2014 Boston Marathon So Far

Runners and supporters gathered on Monday for the 2014 Boston Marathon, united under the banner of 'Boston Strong' in the wake of last year's bombings that turned a day usually marked by inspirational stories of endurance into one of horror. But undeterred Bostonians are back on the finish line this year, cheering on tens of thousands of runners in the world's oldest annual marathon.

About 36,000 runners are heading toward the finish line this year, up from about 27,000 in 2013. The most elite among them will cover 26.2 grueling miles in just over two hours. (What are you doing with your Monday morning?) And Boston police didn't skimp on security to help ensure the safety of runners and spectators. One hundred cameras and 3,500 police officers will monitor the event, which began with a moment of silence to commemorate the three people killed and hundreds injured after bombs exploded along the finish line last year.

All of Monday's runners are starting off the race with a story to tell, and many of those stories are related to the pain and trauma of last year's events. We're taking a look at some of the people showing up to the race this year, and their supporters, to help get your Monday off to an inspirational start.

Celeste Corcoran

Celeste Corcoran became a double-amputee during last year's bombings. Corcoran was at the finish line cheering on her sister Carmen Acabbo when the bombs went off. That hasn't stopped her; this year she's running alongside her sister Carmen for the last few yards of the race.

Scott Menzies

Scott Menzies was accompanying his wife Meg on one of her many Boston Marathon training runs in January when she was struck and killed by an allegedly drunk driver. Meg Menzies ran in the 2013 marathon and was hoping to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials. Scott's running in her memory this year with the support of thousands who joined a Facebook group to remember Meg Menzies, Meg's Miles.

Runners and Friends of 8-Year-Old Martin Richard

Eight-year-old Martin Richard was killed when bombs exploded along the Boston Marathon's finish line last year. This year friends and supporters celebrated his memory with a reproduction of a sign he drew up asking for peace. Team MR8 has 100 people running on Monday in Martin's memory, including Nikolas Franks, Martin's former teacher.

Team Hoyt

Dick and Rick Hoyt, members of the famous father-son duo Team Hoyt, are running their last Boston Marathon on Monday after 37 years of crossing marathon finish lines. Rick, now 52, has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. After a five-mile run in 1977, Rick told his dad that when they ran together it "feels like my disability disappears." That was enough for Dick, now 73, who was never a runner but wanted nothing more than for his son to feel free. The 2014 Boston Marathon is their grand finale.

Lelisa Desisa

Lelisa Desisa, an Ethiopian man who won last year's race and gave his winning medal back to the city of Boston in memory of the bombing victims, is defending his title today. Over the past year he's met with some of the victims and their families and gave his racing bib to a couple injured in the bombings.

Desisa told The New York Times the race this year was about triumph.

I only want to make happy, not mix happy and sad. I want to show that for the Boston people.