Marathon Recap: Runners And Survivors Celebrate In Boston
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.
Keflezighi, a former New York City marathon winner and Olympic medalist, says he hoped to have his picture taken with the victims’ families after his win Monday, but they weren’t immediately available.
The victims were 8-year-old Martin Richard, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell and 23-year-old Lu Lingzi (loo ling-zuh). MIT Officer Sean Collier was shot three days after the marathon.
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.
Boston Marathon survivor Jeff Bauman returned to the finish line Monday after losing both his legs in last year’s marathon bombing.
Bauman stood in the viewing stands just past the finish line with his fiance, Erin Hurley, and Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the bombing. They all applauded runners as they crossed the finish line.
Bauman was wearing his prosthetics and used crutches. They sat a few feet away from Carlos Arredondo, who helped save his life.
As he walked away from the finish line under his own power, his prosthetics showing, Bauman said it felt “great” to be back. He also said he felt very safe.
It was the first time Bauman had returned to the scene since two bombs exploded near the finish line on April 15, 2013.
Newlyweds who each lost a leg in last year’s Boston Marathon bombing completed the marathon together this year, riding hand cycles for the 26.2-mile course.
Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky were newlyweds last year when they went to the marathon finish line to watch the runners cross. They both suffered severe injuries; both lost their left legs.
On Monday, they rode side by side in the hand cycle race, completing the course from Hopkinton to Boston, in about 2 hours and 14 minutes. Both smiled as they rolled across the finish line, holding hands.
A spokesman for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital said the couple “wanted to make sure they finished together.” (Associated Press)