By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Runners, from the world's elite racers to first-timers, will step to the Boston Marathon starting line on Monday for the first running of the world-renowned race since last year's deadly bombing attack. Some 36,000 people, the second-largest field in the race's 118-year history, will set out from Hopkinton, a town west of Boston, for the 26.2-mile race that finishes on Boston's Boylston Street, where two homemade pressure-cooker bombs last year killed three people and injured 264. The fans, hundreds of thousands of whom are expected to line the course, will also be rooting for top U.S. entrants including Ryan Hall of California and Desiree Linden of Michigan. While the memory of the attacks has hung heavy over Boston through the week of events leading up to the race, Linden said it wouldn't affect her thinking come race day.
Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria arrived home on Sunday to an emotional reunion with family and colleagues after spending 10 months in captivity in the world's most dangerous country for the media. French President Francois Hollande said it was "a day of joy for France" as he met the four men at military airbase outside Paris where they touched down early Sunday. Hollande said France was "proud" to count the freed journalists among its citizens, and to have secured their release, but cautioned that "there are still hostages being held in Syria because they are journalists." Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres were captured in two separate incidents in June last year while covering the conflict in Syria and freed over the weekend.