IT STARTED as a chilly, overcast morning, but it turned into a bright, sunny day celebrating the human spirit.

The Blue Cross Broad Street Run's 34th installment was its most successful, with 40,000 runners registered.

The runners came from all over the world, in many cases bringing family and friends with them. And many wore red attire, including red socks, to show solidarity with Boston.

The race began promptly at 8:30 a.m. yesterday after a moment of silence honoring the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

Ayele Feisha, 24, originally from Ethiopia but now residing in New York, was the overall male winner with a time of 47:03. The overall female winner was Askale Merachi, 26, also an Ethiopian who lives in New York, with a time of 53:46.

Using translators, both winners said they were very excited to be in Philadelphia and gave the course high marks. It was Merachi's third Broad Street Run, and she noticed an uptick in the competition.

The top American was Cole Atkins, 27, of North Carolina, who led for the first 3 miles and finished in 47:44.

Tony Nogueira, 45, of Glen Ridge, N.J., was the top handicap finisher.

Of course, security was a big focus in the wake of the Boston bombings. Race director Jim Marino said the event went smoothly and he thanked the Philadelphia police force.

"As far as I know, security went very well. The police department did a wonderful job," Marino said. "They did the normal great job that they always do for us. We can't do it without the police department and the city employees. It went really well."

Philadelphia resident Marlon Gravesande, 39, who ran with his father Ronville Gravesande, 62, from Union, N.J., would have to agree. The father-and-son team originally from Guyana has participated in several races, including this year's Boston Marathon. They finished before the explosions and did not see them. "We always run together. We ran Boston together, we ran New York together, Toronto, so it's great," Marlon said.

Marlon was especially happy to see the support for Boston. "It's great. That was a tragic event and I'm glad to see the support of the running family," he said. "I saw a post on the Internet that said runners are the wrong ones to mess with because we have a lot of perseverance."