BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Thousands of runners took part in Boston Athletic Association’s Half Marathon Sunday, held at Franklin Park.

Photos: Half Marathon

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

Eight thousand runners stepped off from White Stadium to run the 13.1 mile course along the Emerald Necklace.

Extra police and K-9 units were on hand this year after the two bombings at the Boston Marathon in April.

Nicole DiBasio of Milton says she was a bit concerned heading to the race.

“Right when I came, I had that in the back of my mind,” she said. “I see police everywhere so I feel very safe.”

Reigning Boston Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia won the Boston Half on Sunday in a course record time of 1 hour, 34 seconds.

Kim Smith of New Zealand easily defended her title in 1:09:14. She earned the $100,000 prize for the lowest combined time in the 5K, 10K and Half in the Boston Medley.

Stephen Sambu of Kenya was third and also won $100,000 for the lowest time.

The top five finishers in the men’s and women’s field beat the previous course record on a cool, sunny day. The race winds through Boston’s Emerald Park.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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