San Diegan Meb Keflezighi wins Boston Marathon

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A San Diego man won the Boston Marathon Monday in just over two hours, making him the first American to win the race since 1983.

Meb Keflezighi, who turns 39 on May 5, won the 118th Boston Marathon with an official time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 37 seconds, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

He was among nearly 36,000 runners to compete in the marathon that went forward without a hitch, one year after three people were killed and 264 were injured when two brothers set off homemade explosives at the finish line.

As Keflezighi approached the finish line roughly 10 seconds ahead of second place finisher Wilson Chebet of Kenya, he could be seen pumping his fist as the crowd cheered him on.

“This is beyond running, this is for the people, for the Boston Strong,” Keflezighi, the 2004 silver medalist in the Olympic marathon, told reporters after the race. “We’re resilient as runners, we want to give it back. We want to change what happened last year.”

Councilman David Alvarez tweeted, “Thrilled and proud that my friend runmeb has won the Boston Marathon!”

“Boston strong meet San Diego strong,” U-T San Diego tweeted, referring to the slogan adopted following last year’s attack.

Also taking to Twitter to congratulate the veteran runner were Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Keflezighi and his family immigrated to the United States as refugees from Eritrea when he was 12 years old. He attended Roosevelt Middle School and San Diego High School, where he ran track and won both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters at the CIF California State Championships in 1994.

Longtime San Diego track coach Paul Greer told 10News that Keflezighi is a great role model to children and adults.

“He’s well-spoken, he’s very humble,” Greer said. “He’s a hard worker — he personifies hard work.”

Greer told the station he plans to arrange a celebration for Keflezighi, who maintains his residence in San Diego and trains in Mammoth.

Rita Jeptoo of the Kenya defended her women’s title, winning her third Boston Marathon with a course record time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 57 seconds.

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