American Meb Keflezighi and Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo today won the men’s and women’s races of the Boston Marathon one year on from a deadly bombing at the finish line that left three dead and more than 260 people injured.
Keflezighi, who wore the names of four victims of last year’s attack on his running bib, clocked 2 hours 08min 37sec amid a huge security operation to become the first American man to win the event since Greg Meyer in 1983.
“It was not just about me…I was going to give everything I could for the people,” Keflezighi said.
A moment of silence was held before some 36,000 runners set off for the race, while a record crowd of one million people – twice the usual number – observed special safety rules, including a ban on rucksacks and screening at checkpoints.
Police helicopters also circled above the course, while bomb-sniffing dogs checked through rubbish bins, but Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray insisted his organisation is “taking back our race”.
“We’re taking back the finish line,” he added.
Wilson Chebet of Kenya finished 11 seconds behind Keflezighi in 2:08:48, with fellow Kenyan Franklin Chepkwony coming third in 2:08:50.
Meanwhile, Jeptoo successfully defended her Boston Marathon title in a course record time of 2:18:57.
Ethiopian athletes completed the podium, with Bizunesh Deba finishing in second place with a time of 2:19:59 and Mare Dibaba finishing third in 2:20:35.
This article first appeared in www.insidethegames.biz and is reproduced with permission.