American Meb Keflezighi is the first runner to win the Boston Marathon since last year’s deadly bombing. According to USA Today, his unofficial time is 2 hours, eight minutes and 36 seconds. Wilson Chebet came in second place.
Boston Marathon crowds cheer Keflezighi on
This year, crowds gathered in remembrance of last year’s tragedy. They also cheered on Keflezighi as he raced toward the finish line. Aside from this being the first anniversary of last year’s deadly bombing, the 2004 Olympic silver medal winner is also the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983 when Greg A. Meyer ran it in two hours and nine minutes.
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Keflezighi’s last big marathon win was in 2012 at the Olympic trials. In 2009, he also won the New York Marathon.
Keflezighi’s win surprises watchers
Toward the middle of the race, the U.S. immigrant passed Kenyan native Josphat Boit, who also immigrated to the U.S. By the time he hit the 17th mile of the race, he was one minute ahead the group of runners which included Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa. In the last 12 years of the Boston Marathon, runners from either Ethiopia or Kenya have won the men’s titles.
In the women’s race, last year’s winner Kenyan Rita Jeptoo defended her title. Shalane Flanagan, an American, led the women at the halfway point of the race. However, NBC News reports that Jeptoo passed her and set a new record in the women’s race of two hours, eighteen minutes and 57 seconds.
Shares of Skechers USA Inc (NYSE:SKX) rose as much as 2.5% in afternoon trading after Keflizighi won the race. Skechers has sponsored him since 2011. Shares of the shoe maker’s stock have been performing well since February, when the stock shot up after the company posted a significant positive surprise in its last earnings report.