BOSTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — A remarkable finish and a remarkable story.
American Meb Keflezighi 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.
Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo won the women’s race in a course-record 2 hours, 18 minutes, 57 seconds, defending a championship from last year. She had been hoping this year for a title she could enjoy.
PHOTOS: 118th Boston Marathon
“It was very difficult to be happy. People were injured and children died,” she had said of last year’s marathon. “If I’m going to win again, I hope I can be happier and to show people, like I was supposed to last year.”
Other runners were expected to remain on the course for several hours after the winners crossed the finish line.
The 118th Boston Marathon took place amid heavy security a year after the bombings near the race’s finish line that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Last year, the bombs went off at 2:49 p.m. as spectators crowded around the finish the line to cheer the still-arriving runners about five hours into the race.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said at the starting line in Hopkinton that officials were trying to keep a traditional family feel to the marathon while maintaining tight security.
A moment of silence was observed and “America the Beautiful” was played over a loudspeaker before the start of the race.
Despite heightened security, the mood was festive at the finish line on Boylston Street. Spontaneous applause broke out as a group of Boston police officers walked near the site of last year’s twin bombing and children danced as the Rolling Stones’ song “Start Me Up” blared over the loudspeakers.
A total of 35,755 athletes were registered to run, the second-largest field in its history, many of them coming to show support for the event and the city that was shocked by the attack on its signature sporting event.
“I can’t imagine the number of emotions that are going to be there,” said Katie O’Donnell, who was running the marathon last year and made it 25 and 1/2 miles before she was stopped less than a mile from the finish line when the twin bombs exploded. “I think I’m going to start crying at the starting line and I’m not sure I’ll stop until I cross the finish line.”