Boston: Meb Keflezighi on Monday became the first US male athlete to win the Boston Marathon in three decades, an emotional performance in a city still recovering from last year’s fatal bombing attack on the world-renowned race.
Keflezighi, who was born in Eritrea but is now a US citizen, pulled ahead of a pack of elite African runners a little more than halfway into the race and held off a late challenge by Kenya’s Wilson Chebet as the Boston crowd chanted “USA! USA!” His official time: two hours, eight minutes and 37 seconds.
Among the women, Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo notched up her second consecutive win, smashing a 12-year course record with a blistering official time of 2:18:57, reeling in American Shalane Flanagan, who had led the women for the first 20 miles of the 42.2 km race, setting a punishing pace.
Flanagan, who finished seventh, gave a tearful television interview after the race.
“I love Boston so much and I really wanted to do it for this city,” said Flanagan, who was raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts. “I’m so sad I couldn’t do it for Boston.”