American Meb Keflezighi has won the Boston Marathon, a year after a bombing at the finish line left three dead and more than 260 people injured.
Keflezighi is a former New York City Marathon champion and Olympic medalist. He ran the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to the finish on Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay on Monday in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds.
Keflezighi held off Wilson Chebet of Kenya who finished 11 seconds behind. The 38-year-old from San Diego looked over his shoulder several times over the final mile. After realizing he wouldn't be caught, he raised his sunglasses, began pumping his right fist and made the sign of the cross.
No U.S. runner had won the race since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach took the women's title in 1985; the last American man to win was Greg Meyer in 1983.
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Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended the Boston Marathon title she said she could not enjoy a year ago after the fatal bombings.
Jeptoo finished Monday's race in a course-record 2 hours, 18 minutes, 57 seconds. She becomes the seventh three-time Boston Marathon champion.
Jeptoo broke away from a group of five runners at the 23-mile mark. Buzunesh Deba finished second with an unofficial time of 2:19:59.
American Shalane Flanagan finished seventh after leading for more than half the race. She took a gamble by setting the early pace. She ran her first mile in 5 minutes, 11 seconds, but fell back on the Newton Hills about 21 miles into the race.
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State and local officials are hoping for a safe but still enjoyable day for the 36,000 runners planning to participate in the Boston Marathon and the hundreds of thousands of spectators.
One year after a pair of homemade bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others, the Boston Marathon returns to the streets for its 118th edition on Monday.
Bags will be restricted and searched near the finish line this year. More than 100 cameras have been installed along the route in Boston, and 50 or so "observation points" will be set up around the finish line.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that authorities didn't want to turn the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston into a militarized zone.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)