2014 Boston Marathon: Natalie Morales, New Kids on the Block, NFL Star Tedy Bruschi Among the Runners

7:31 PM PST 04/21/2014 by Debbie Emery
AP Images

The stars joined 36,000 runners for the historic race Monday to support survivors of last year's bomb blast and show that they were "Boston Strong."

There were some familiar faces among the 36,000 runners at the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday. 

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Today show anchor Natalie Morales reported from near the starting line early that morning before hitting the road for the 118th marathon, which marked the first running of the historic event since two bombs blasts killed three people and injured 264 others Apr. 15, 2013. 

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"As the runners start to arrive here, a lot of excitement, a lot of energy. Emotions and security are at all-time highs here," said Morales. "But meanwhile, people just gearing up for the race of a lifetime, many saying this is the time to take the marathon back and to prove to the world what it means to be Boston Strong."

Morales crossed the finish line -- close to where the pressure cooker bombs caused chaos last year -- with a time of 3:34:45, beating out both Joey McIntyre and Danny Wood from New Kids on the Block, who were running to raise money for a number of charities including the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, and clocked in with times of 3:48:11 and 3:34:45, respectively. 

Newly engaged former bandmate Donnie Wahlberg was in the crowd of thousands to cheer them on, as well as brother James Wahlberg, who was running.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was on hand with his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, to cheer on his sister, Nancy Brady, who ran for the McCourt Foundation, which raises money for Alzheimer’s and MS research, and for the Accordia Global Health Foundation.

Boston's power couple was spotted carrying their children and chatting with survivors, including amputee Adrianne Haslet-Davis, according to a tweet from CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, which featured the 33-year-old in a special documentary earlier this month.

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Brady's former teammate and current ESPN NFL analyst, Tedy Bruschi, took the plunge to run the race, and improved his previous personal best time to 4:47:44. The 40-year-old longtime Patriots linebacker earned a bear hug from team owner Robert Kraft when he crossed the finish line on Boylston Street. 

Bruschi, who suffered a stroke in 2005, ran for his charity, Tedy's Team, raising money for the American Stroke Association. 

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Finishing far ahead of any of the famous names was Meb Keflezighi, 38, who became the first American to win the Boston Marathon since 1983, with an official time of 2:08:37, according to the Boston Marathon's Facebook page.

Following the race, blast survivor Marc Fucarile -- who spent 100 days in the hospital following the deadly attack and was recently featured in the ESPN E:60 special, Dream On: Stories From Boston's Strongest -- threw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game at Fenway Park. 

It has been a memorable few days for Fucarile and his longtime fiancee, Jen Regan, who got married at the historic ball park last week.

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