American Wins Boston Marathon for First Time in 31 Years

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 21 2014 1:23 PM

American Wins Boston Marathon for First Time in 31 Years

Meb Keflezighi crosses the finish line to win the Men's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Meb Keflezighi was the first man to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon today, finishing at an unofficial 2:08:37 as the crowd along Boylston Street chanted “USA! USA!” It marked the first time an American man got the top slot in the Boston Marathon since 1983, when Greg Meyer of Massachusetts won. (An American woman last won in 1985, when Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach of Michigan came out on top.) After crossing the finish line today Keflezighi “looked up to the sky, then kissed the ground three times. He took a bow, then emotion won out as he put his hands over his face and broke into tears,” reports USA Today. Keflezighi, of San Diego, wrapped himself in the American flag when he accepted the trophy, notes the Boston Herald.

Keflezighi, who finished second in the men’s marathon at the 2004 Olympics, got the fastest time ever for an American and a personal record for the 38-year-old who was born in Eritrea and arrived in the United States when he was 12.  It was a close finish for Keflezighi as Wilson Chebet of Kenya came 11 seconds behind at 2:08:48, followed by Frankline Chepkwony, also of Kenya, at 2:08:50, reports the Boston Globe.  Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo won the women’s race for the second year in a row with a record time of 2:18:57.


Around 35,755 runners athletes from 96 countries signed up to run the 118th Boston Marathon in the first race since last year’s bombing that killed three people and injured 264, reports Reuters. One million spectators gathered on Monday to cheer on the runners amid an unprecedented level of security. The Associated Press reports Keflezighi wore the names of four victims on his running bib: Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi and Martin Richard, who were killed in the bombing, and MIT Officer Sean Collier, who was killed during the manhunt for the suspects.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

Yes, Black Families Tend to Spank More. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good for Black Kids.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge


The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 6:23 PM Bryan Cranston Reenacts Baseball’s Best Moments to Promote the Upcoming Postseason
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.