History was made at the Boston Marathon yesterday when Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win the race since 1983, a women’s course record was set by Kenyan Rita Jeptoo, and more than 32,000 runners returned to an event marred by terrorism a year ago.
Thousands more lined the course of the 118th Boston Marathon in a show of Boston’s strength as it continued its recovery from the twin bombings that claimed three lives and injured more than 260 at the 2013 event. Keflezighi became the first American man to win the event since Greg Meyer in 1983, finishing in a time of 2:08:37, his personal best for a marathon. He said the crowd, and last year’s tragedy, motivated him.
“The crowd was phenomenal. I used them and they used me. The energy was just phenomenal,” he said. “Toward the end I was remembering the victims who passed away. I said ‘I’m going to use the energy to win, just like the Red Sox did.’” A three-time Olympian, Keflezighi won the 2009 New York City Marathon and finished third in Boston in 2006. He also won the silver medal in the marathon at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
“I would say my career was 99 percent fulfilled (before the race),” Keflezighi said. “Now it’s 105 percent fulfilled.” “It was not about me,” added Keflezighi. “It was about Boston Strong.”
Separating herself from the lead pack with a long and punishing stride, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya became a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon, flying to the finish in a course-record time of 2:18:57. Her time was 1 minute 46 seconds faster than the previous course record of 2:20:43 set in 2002 by Margaret Okayo of Kenya. Continue reading “Meb Keflezighi 1st American to Win Boston Marathon Since 1983; Women’s Winner Rita Jeptoo Sets Course Record”