American wins Boston Marathon; 1st time since ’85

Meb Keflezighi, of San Diego, Calif., (left) won the men's portion of the Boston Marathon and Rita Jeptoo, of Kenya, won women's division. (Associated Press)

BOSTON (AP) — Meb Keflezighi won the men’s race, giving Boston its long-hoped-for American champion a year after the bombings.

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.

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.

As for the women’s division, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended the Boston Marathon title she said she could not enjoy a year ago after the fatal bombings last year.

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 fifth 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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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