Meb Keflezighi held off a charge from Wilson Chebet to become the first American to win the Boston Marathon since 1983 in Monday’s 118th running of the historic race.
Chebet closed to within a few seconds of Kefleghzi with about a mile remaining, but Keflezighi put on a late spurt as he made the turn onto Hereford Street and then the quick final turn onto Boylston Street. He finished in a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds. Chebet was 11 seconds behind.
Keflezighi, 38, was born in Eritrea and moved to San Diego at the age of 12. He became a U.S. citizen in 1998. The UCLA product won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympic marathon and finished fourth in the 2012 Olympic race. He also represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics, finishing 12th in the 10,000 meters.
On the women’s side, defending champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya broke away from a pack of five runners at the 23-mile mark and won with a course-record time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, 57 seconds.
Buzunesh Deba was second, just over a minute behind.
Marblehead’s Shalane Flanagan led for the first half of the race but fell of the pace on the Newton hills and ended up finishing fifth.
Heavy security was evident throughout the race, run a year after two bombs exploded at the finish line.