BOSTON - Monday sees the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and the first since the attack last year that killed three spectators.
On Sunday evening, security preparations were front and center along with the runners and the staimted 1 million people who will watch the storied race.
For blocks in downtown Boston, a ring of steel barricades cordons off where Monday's race will end. Some 3,500 cops will protect the marathon course, double least year's police presence. Spectators have been told to bring no backpacks, rucksacks, strollers or costumes.
David Gould is running his first Boston Marathon.
"I think it's a lot safer but I think there's a bigger risk than year because they knew it happened once, they know it can happen again," he said.
That's the worry here: a copycat attack. The potential target zone extends more than 26 miles through eight cities and towns.
"Somebody said it may be the safest place in America tomorrow," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said on CBS News' "Face the Nation."
Last year's twin explosions near the finish line - pressure-cooker bombs detonated 13 seconds apart - rattled this city.
Three people were killed, and more than 260 injured.
Noreen Beiro was crossing the finish line as the second explosion went off. She was uninjured.
The 56-year-old from San Francisco pointed herself out in video of the blasts.
"I see a lot of chaos, and I'm running toward the finish line after the second bomb exploded," she said. "Within minutes, they were screaming for us to get away because ambulances were going through Boylston Street."
Security cameras helped identify the pair of Chechen immigrant brothers suspected of planting the bombs. This year, more than 100 additional temporary cameras have been installed, and the finish line is a particular focus of the beefed-up security.
Beiro will be running the marathon again on Monday. She said she felt it was important to come back because "this race is for Boston."
Some 36,000 runners will compete Monday - a bigger field than usual, to accommodate more than 5,000 marathoners who didn't get to cross the finish line last year.
One man who will not be running the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Copley Square on Monday is Bill Evans. He has run the Boston Marathon 18 times. But this year, as Boston's new police commissioner, he is in charge of protecting it.
Evans took the job as commissioner full time in January after three decades on the force.
Last week, as marathon preparations entered the final stages, he took a CBS News crew inside his department's command center. He said it takes a lot to keep an event this large secure.
"This is a soft target. There are eight cities and towns here that are involved ," Evans said. "You know if it's a stadium you can wand people going into a stadium, you can check bags. Twenty-six-point-two miles is quite a lot of yardage to cover and secure it but i think we have a great plan to do it."
Evans said he wants the marathon to be safe, but he doesn't want to dampen the celebratory air in the city or have people feel like they're in a police state.
"That's the instruction I've given to my officers here in the city. We are going to have a lot of undercovers working the crowd, we are going to have a good uniform presence, plenty of cameras out there, but I don't want to scare people from coming into the city," he said. "I want this day to be the special day that it has always been."