BOSTON — Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia reclaimed the title he won two years ago, winning the Boston Marathon by a 31-second margin Monday.
Desisa pulled away from the pack late and continued to create distance all the way to the finish line for a time of 2 hours, nine minutes and 17 seconds Monday in the 119th Boston Marathon.
Two years ago Desisa donated his marathon medal to the city, in a show of support for Boston after the bombings.
Yemane Adhane Tsegay of Ethiopia was second (2:09:22), followed by Wilson Chebet (2:10:22) of Kenya.
Caroline Rotich of Kenya won the women’s race with a time of 2:24:55. Rotich and Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia ran side-by-side over the last couple miles before Rotich was able to stride ahead with about 30 yards to go and finished four seconds ahead of Dibaba.
Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba took third (2:25:09) followed by American Desiree Linden.
Runners and spectators were greeted with a cold, gray morning Monday.
Balmy weather from the week before gave way to cloudy skies and pending showers. Temperatures were in the low 40s as thousands of runners gathered in Boston Common, where they jogged and stretched before catching a shuttle to the starting line. School buses lined up for blocks next to the Common waited to take the runners west to Newington and the start of the 26.2-mile journey back to Boylston Street.
Police and increased security were visible throughout the city and especially tight near the finish, where the 2013 race ended in horror as three people died and more than 250 were injured by the bombings that rocked Boston’s traditional rite of spring. The tragedy was also the birth of the Boston Strong movement, which continues two years later.
Several runners in this year’s field were wounded in 2013 while running or just watching from the crowded sidewalks lining the finish.
Meb Keflezighi, who last year became the first American runner to win in Boston since 1983, finished eighth behind Dathan Ritzenhein, the top American man.
Shalane Flanagan, a hometown favorite who was fourth in the 2013 Boston Marathon, finished ninth Monday.
More than 30,000 people registered for the 2015 marathon, which began with the mobility impaired division, wheelchairs and handcycles. A strong wind kicked up for the start of the women’s elite runners at 9:32 a.m. with the first wave of the elite men following at 10.
Two-time defending champion Rita Jeptoo is serving a doping ban after testing positive for EPO in September.
PHOTOS: 119th Boston Marathon
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From left, Yemane Adhane Tsegay of Ethiopia, Wesley Korir of Kenya, Tadese Tola of Ethiopia, Meb Keflezighi of San Diego, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, Lusapho April of South Africa, and Nicholas Arciniaga of Flagstaff, Ariz., leave the start line of the Boston Marathon.
Stephan Savoia, AP