BOSTON, Mass. -

Twenty-six point two miles of raw emotion followed Sinking Springs, Berks County's Todd Buchannan.

"It's incredible. You wouldn't believe the people out there," he said.

From the start to the finish at Copley Square, Allentown's Rick Garb said crowds lined the entire race.

"There is nothing like it in the world," Garb said.

For three-time race runner Allentown's Allison Fiorini, the 118th Boston Marathon Monday meant more than ever before.

"Lot of people were really emotional when they crossed, especially when they hit Boston. There are signs that say 'Boston,'" Fiorini explained.

A year after two finish line bombs killed three and injured hundreds of others, runners like Macungie's Kari Braido were determined to take back the finish line.

"When I turned the corner and saw the finish line and got to the stands, I thought about last year and it helped get me through those last 30 seconds," she said.

Around 6:30 p.m., runners were still crossing the finish line.

The crowds and celebration may have dimmed, but the meaning behind crossing that mark hasn't.

Runners World Magazine chief running officer and Center Valley resident Bart Yasso has worked 34 Boston marathons.

"I never felt emotion like I did this year," he said.

He says this year is the most significant race in the history of U.S. running.

"The attention people are paying to this race all over the world --everybody wants to see a peaceful celebration," Yasso added.

Keeping the peace was key. Security was tight. Cops were on all corners. Bomb sniffing dogs roamed the streets. For the first time, there were security checkpoints to get near the finish line.

The race went off without a hitch.

No matter if you were on the street or in the crowd, everyone was "Boston Strong."

"Persistence, we as Americans nothing stops us from doing what we want to do in life," Garb said.