With the names of the four victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon attack written on his bib, on Monday Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the iconic Boston event since Greg Meyer in 1983.
The 38-year-old Keflezighi, who emigrated from Eritrea at age 12, won the race in a personal best 2:08:37. On the women's side, Kenya's Rita Jeptoo won her third Boston title, finishing in a course record 2:18:57.
Keflezighi's biggest previous victories included the 2009 New York City Marathon and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. He also earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. Keflezighi started Monday's race quickly, leading by as much as a minute shortly before the halfway mark. Kenyans Wilson Chebet (2:08:48) and Frankline Chepkwony (2:08:50) rallied toward the end but started from too far behind and had to settle for second and third place, respectively.
Another American, Shalane Flanagan, led the women's event early, but hopes for an American sweep faded as Flanagan dropped back about midway through the race. She eventually finished seventh in 2:22:02, the fastest Boston Marathon time ever posted by an American woman. Jeptoo took charge just after the halfway mark and maintained a secure lead for the rest of the race. The 2006 and 2013 Boston winner shattered the previous course record of 2:20:43 set by Margaret Okayo in 2002. The next three finishers also finished inside of Okayo's time, including Ethiopians Bezunesh Deba (2:19:59) and Mare Dibaba (2:20:35) plus Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya (2:20:41).