History Made at 2014 Boston Marathon

By Justine Hofherr, Megan Turchi, Claire Felter and Andre Khatchaturian
BU News Service

Not only were there more spectators and runners at today’s Boston Marathon than ever before, but history was also made at the finish line, as men’s elite runner, Meb Keflezighi, became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since Greg Meyer did in 1983 with a personal best of 2:08:37.

Keflezighi had a huge lead of about 90 seconds with two miles ago, but he had that lead cut to six seconds in the last two miles by Wilson Chebet.

“Toward the end I was a little bit nervous,” said Keflezighi. “I came to the Citgo sign and I said, ‘I got one mile to go.’ I’m almost 39 and I just ran a personal best and just won the Boston Marathon.”

Keflezighi was born in Eritrea and moved to the United States when he was 12 years old. He trains in Mammoth Lakes, Calif and was a former cross country runner at UCLA.

There was also history made in the women’s race as Kenyan Rita Jeptoo finished at a record time of 2:18:57. This was Jeptoo’s third win, second consecutive, and as the native Kenyan crossed the finish line she stretched her arms and tilted her head to the sky.

The previous record–2:20:43, was set by Margaret Okayo of Kenya in 2002.

Last year, Jeptoo finished with a time of 2:23:43, but her win was marred by the Boston Marathon bombings on Boylston Street, which exploded around 2:50 p.m.

From the wheelchair group, Tatyana McFadden won the race with a time of one hour, 35 minutes, and six seconds for the women.

“My time was pretty fast here in Boston, especially with all the climbs,” said McFadden after the race. “I was really happy with today. It’s just been a whirlwind and excitement and lots of training and hard work.”

Finally, from the men, Ernst F. Van Dyk of South Africa won the wheelchair discipline with a time of 1:20:36.

About one million spectators lined the course throughout the race from Hopkington to the finish line on Boylston Street.

Other winners:

Wheelchair Women’s:

1. Tatyana McFadden, USA, 1:35:06

2. Wakako Tsuchida, JPN, 1:37:24

3. Susannah Scaroni, USA. 1:38:33

Wheelchair Men’s:

1. Ernst F. Van Dyk, RSA, 1:20:36

2. Kota Hokinoue, JPN, 1:21:14

3. Masazumi Soejima, JPN, 1:21:14

Elite Women’s:

1. Rita Jeptoo, KEN, 2:18:57

2. Buzunesh Deba, ETH, 2:19:59

3. Mare Dibaba, ETH, 2:20:35

Elite Men’s:

1. Meb Keflezighi, USA, 2:08:37

2. Wilson Chebet, KEN, 2:08:48

3. Frankline Chepwony, KEN, 2:08:50