Not only did Boston reclaim its marathon today, but for the first time in 31 years, an American man earned the winner’s laurel wreath in the historic run from Hopkinton to Boston.
Meb Keflezighi sped to an impressive 2:08:37 finish to become the first American man to win Boston since Greg Meyer did it in 1983. He is the first American runner to win since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach won the women’s race in 1985.
The significance of an American winning the race a year after bombs marred the event and stunned the entire country was not lost on the 38-year-old from San Diego.
"Every day since (the bombings), I wanted to come back and win it," Keflezighi said. "Since the Red Sox won and put the trophy right there (at the finish line), I wanted to do it."
Keflezighi kissed the ground and let out a victorious scream after crossing the line, bowing to the hysterical throngs lining Boylston Street at the finish, tears streaming down his face.
Kenya’s Wilson Chebet who finished fifth in the 2012 Boston Marathon, closed the gap to eight seconds on Beacon Street near Kenmore Square, but couldn’t get the kick needed to catch the American, who surged down Boylston Street to a deafening reception from the crowd.
"The last three to four miles, (the crowd) pushed me through it," Keflezighi said. "I'm so lucky to be the champion.
"It's not about me," he continued. "It's Boston Strong. Meb Strong."
Chebet finished second in 2:08:48. Frankline Chepkwony of Kenya finished third in 2:08:50. Americans Nicholas Arciniaga and Jeffrey Eggleston finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
Keflezighi seemed to take control of the race at the 25K mark in Newton.
Keflezighi won the 2009 New York City Marathon in 2009 (2:09.15) and has some impressive Olympic performances on his resume. He finished fourth in the 2012 marathon at the London Summer Games and won the silver medal in the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.