American Meb Keflezighi, Kenyan Rita Jeptoo Win The Boston Marathon


Runners leave the starting line at the 118th Boston Marathon.

American man Meb Keflezighi, who will turn 39 years old in May, has won the Boston Marathon, becoming the first American man to win the world’s oldest annual marathon since 1983. Keflezighi ran the race in 2:08:37 and beat defending champion Lelisa Desisa, from Ethiopia.

Kenyan Rita Jeptoo won the women’s marathon, completing it in 2:22:02. American woman Shalane Flanagan led the race for much of its first half before finishing seventh.

This Marathon, of course, is significant because it is the first since last year’s marathon bombing, when an explosion at near the finish line killed three people and injured more than 250. This year’s race, the 118th edition, included more than 35,000 runners after officials lifted a cap on the number of entrants to allow more than 5,000 who didn’t complete last year’s race because of the bombing to run again.

More than a million people have turned out to watch the Marathon today, according to early reports, and people have already gathered at the finish line, where two bombs went off during last year’s race:

This Marathon is also the final one for father-and-son pair Dick and Rick Hoyt, who have become icons of the Boston Marathon over the past three decades. Team Hoyt, as they are known because Dick runs while pushing his son, Rick, who is paralyzed, in a wheel chair, has run in 32 consecutive Boston Marathons. Last year’s was supposed to be their last, but the bombing inspired them to return for one last run.