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There is no doubt the bombings of last year cast a long shadow on the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

It was an inevitable backdrop: The signs on the buildings that line the course near the finish are usually covered in witty, encouraging posters. This year, they encouraged a greater kind of perseverance.

"Boston Strong," they exhorted.

Libby Baker / Wikimedia Commons

Is there a connection between what happens in youth sports and the locker room bullying of Richie Incognito or the steroid-spattered reputations of Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong?

And, we all know that major college sports have become engines of commerce allowing a lot of people, although not the athletes who drive those engines, to get rich.

But, is there any way in which those dollar signs are sliding down into youth and high school sports.

Dave McGillivray likely knows the Boston Marathon better than anyone else.

McGillivray is the race's director — responsible for all the details of the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world. And for the past 41 years, he has also run all 26.2 miles of the course. For the past 27 years, he's done so after his work duties are done.

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

As a volunteer for the 2013 Boston Marathon, nurse Amelia Nelson thought should would be there to help runners as they came across the finish line.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Chion Wolf / WNPR

One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, Connecticut residents who were there are looking back and remembering. Harold Kramer, Chief Operating Officer of the American Radio Relay League, talked about his experience on WNPR’s Where We Live

On this April 15, Americans are thinking about the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred one year ago.

In and around Boston, people are also looking back on a year of healing. The day's events culminated in a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. ET, the time of the first explosion. Vice President Joe Biden joined other officials in a tribute near the race's finish line.

Yi-Chien Chang / Creative Commons

It's been one year since the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded hundreds more. It also changed the city of Boston, which was essentially shut down during the ensuing manhunt for the bombing suspects. 

We look back at that long week in April, and how things have changed both in Boston and throughout the country since the bombing. We're joined by people who were at the marathon that day, including a local professor who will once again run in this year's race.

Eight runners entered in the 2014 Boston Marathon are documenting their race preparations for NPR in a Tumblr blog. Demi Clark is one of the eight, and this is her story.

miz_ginevra / Flickr Creative Commons

Consider America from 1985 to 2000. You wouldn't say nothing happened in those 15 years but America was a fairly calm place to be most of the time.

Now consider the period that came next. It began with a presidential election so riddled with such uncertainties that the effort to confirm the result dragged on for days and went to the Supreme Court.

Weeks after finishing his sophomore season at the University of Massachusetts, Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay player in Division 1 men's college basketball.

A few days ago, I wrote a post in which I was mulling just why so few Asian-Americans played Division I basketball. The numbers were striking: of the 5,380 men's players in the top tier of college basketball during the 2012-2013 season, only 15 were Asian-American. Asian-American ballers weren't just underrepresented. They were practically invisible.

Later this month is the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and this year’s race is especially significant because it’s the first time it’s being run since last year’s bombing at the finish line. Because of that attack, two people will be taking part in this year’s Boston Marathon who hadn’t intended to be there: Dick and Rick Hoyt.

Poetic Take On Black Boxer Lands Punches With Broad Appeal

Apr 11, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, and Code Switch is celebrating by writing about great poets of color and their poems that address issues of race, culture and ethnicity. We began the series with an invitation to our readers to help us build a collaborative poem.

Ray Hardman

There are many studies out there touting the benefits of yoga, from increasing flexibility and strength, to helping with more debilitating conditions like chronic headaches and pain. More and more children are practicing yoga, and researchers are just beginning to understand how kids can benefit from the ancient discipline. 

By routing Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in Nashville, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team won its ninth NCAA championship — which means that coach Geno Auriemma is no longer tied with legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for the most titles among women's coaches.

But that's not the only milestone that highlights UConn's place in the upper echelon of college basketball programs. Check this out:

Before Tuesday, only one school had won both the men's and women's Division I basketball titles in the same year.

Dan Malloy Twitter account

It feels a lot like 2004. Both UConn basketball teams are national champions, John Rowland is under investigation, and a Kennedy is in the news! Coming up on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, our panel of reporters and analysts weighs in on the state's relationship with it's flagship university. Governor Dannel Malloy (er - Dan Malloy) is trying to cash in on UConn's success as he runs for re-election.

We also say goodbye to a radio competitor who signed off last week. But we have a feeling that former Governor John Rowland will stay in the news.

Also, several Connecticut restaurants are in trouble for playing music and not paying royalties.

Flickr user Ben Sutherland/Creative Commons

Fans watching major sports championship games in the U.S. sometimes riot afterwards. But unlike the fist fights that happen between fans of opposing teams in Europe, researchers found that U.S. fans riot if their team wins.

In the wake of most tragedies, makeshift memorials fill up with flowers and teddy bears. After the Boston Marathon bombings last April, running shoes became potent symbols in the vast memorial there.

Now, after months in storage at the cavernous City Archives, a group of objects left at the site are in a new exhibition at the Boston Public Library.

Today on the Scramble, we get to spend some time with Frank Rich. Frank wears a lot of hats these days as both editor-at-large at New York Magazine and Executive Producer of VEEP on HBO. We're going to chat with him in both capacities and there is an interesting bridge between the two realms.

Opening day of the 2014 Major League Baseball season started without the world's most famous southpaw, President Obama, throwing out the first pitch at Washington Nationals Park.

The Nationals were in New York City, where they began their season against the New York Mets with a 9-7 win.

Adam Hunger / USA Today/UConn

In a game with huge momentum swings, the UConn men came roaring back to beat No. 4 seed Michigan State 60-54 to advance to their fifth Final Four of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and first under Coach Kevin Ollie (Colin McEnroe called it "incredible vindication" for the former UConn player, who's trying to fill the shoes of legendary coach Jim Calhoun).

Star guard Shabazz Napier scored 25 points while taking physical abuse all game, and the Huskies continued their hot streak at the foul line, converting 18 straight free throws in the second half.

What if William Shakespeare's plays faced off in a tournament, like basketball squads spewing Elizabethan verse? That's the idea behind a bracket that pits 32 of the bard's plays against each another, in a contest arranged by New York's New Victory Theater.

Much like the NCAA basketball tournament that inspired it, the theater has been tallying votes and updating its bracket on its road to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Riot police were deployed in Tuscon last night, after University of Arizona students and fans took to the streets to vent their anger over a 1-point loss in overtime that ended their men's basketball team's hopes of playing for a national championship.

Kentucky came back to beat defending champ Louisville, and Michigan State upset Virginia Friday night, as the NCAA men's basketball championship finalized its Elite Eight lineup.

Those teams were joined by Michigan, which held off a second-half comeback by Tennessee, and Connecticut, which took out Iowa State. Four other schools had already advanced after Thursday's games.

Would March Madness be terribly different if the players were paid?

Probably not. The college basketball tournament might become more professionalized, but it wouldn't look much different from what we're seeing right now.

"I don't see it changing one iota," says ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas.

The numbers are eye-popping:

MLB.com and other news sites are reporting that Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is getting an eight-year contract extension from the team that means he's guaranteed to earn $292 million over the next 10 years if he keeps playing.

Flickr Creative Commons/The U.S. Army

Earlier this week, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled that Northwestern University football players are employees of the university. That could have implications for other student athletes in private universities nationwide, including local schools like the University of Hartford.

This all started because the football players at Northwestern wanted to form a union so they could have collective bargaining rights and better health coverage.

Kevin Hoffman / UConn/USA TODAY Sports

The UConn men's basketball team is headed to the sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. The seventh-ranked Huskies had their hands full in the first two games of the tournament.

Duke went down the first day, losing to nearly unknown Mercer.

Syracuse was bounced out on Saturday by Dayton — a team that hadn't gone very far in 30 years.

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