On Monday, Lelisa Desisa, 25, of Ethiopia succeeded in earning a second victory at the Boston Marathon after the 2013 win which was interrupted by a series of tragic explosions at the finish line. The women’s division was won by Caroline Rotich, 30, of Kenya.
A spokesperson for the Boston Athletic Association said during a post-race press conference that Desisa didn’t have the chance to enjoy his first victory at the Boston Marathon.
Desisa won the race in 2013 hours before a pair of bombs wounded about 260 Boston Marathon participants and killed three others. On Monday, the Ethiopian finished the race in two hours and 9 minutes. He was awarded a $150,000 prize, a golden medal and an olive wreath. In 2013, the man donated his medal to honor the Boston Marathon bombing victims.
“This medal, I think, is for me. I took off my hat and started waving my hands because I love the Boston people,”
Caroline Rotich won the women’s division by outrunning Mare Dibaba by four seconds on a cold, rainy day that kept the crowds in their homes but didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for the Boston’s favorite sporting event.
Rotich said that when she saw the finish line tape, although she was running shoulder to shoulder with Dibaba, she made a promised to herself that she wouldn‘t let it go. She finished the race in two hours and 24 minutes and claimed her $150,000 prize. She is the fifth Kenyan woman to win the Boston Marathon.
Desisa led the pack the entire race. Yemane Adhane Tsegay of Ethiopia was second with 31 seconds behind Desisa, while Kenya’s Wilson Chebet finished third with a 34 second-delay.
Dathan Ritzenhein of Michigan finished seventh, while Meb Keflezighi, who was the first American to win the Boston Marathon since 1983, finished in eighth. Keflezighi recalled that he cried on Boylston Street when his memories started to hunt him in 2014. Last year, he wrote the name of the bombing victims on his bib. When he won, everybody was cheering and chanting “U-S-A!,” Keflezighi said.
Keflezighi, 39, who won the 2004 Olimpic Silver medal, was this year’s favorite but he had an unfortunate incident at the 35-kilometer mark. There he stopped to have a sip of water, but as it went down the wrong way he had to stop five times to throw up.
Keflezighi recalls that the crowd kept encouraging him to continue his race every time he stopped.
Desiree Linden, who finished fourth the women’s race, led the pack the entire race, but she failed to keep up the pace as three Ethiopians, including Rotich, took the lead. One of the Ethiopians, Buzunesh Deba, who managed to finish third, fell behind close to the finish line, while Rotich and Dibaba had a quarter-mile shoulder-to-shoulder race.
The two women switched places several times, but in the end Rotich took the lead and won her first Boston Marathon title.
The authorities were expecting a crowd of 1 million people along the route, so, security was heavy but not intrusive. Local and state police were backed by officers in SUVs and National Guard soldiers, who took their time to cheer runners and high-five the members of the crowd.
Image Source: Heavy.com