Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono outsprinted Ethiopa’s Lelisa Desisa over the final few steps to win the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Cherono crossed the finish line in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 7 minutes, 57 seconds on Monday. That was just ahead of Desisa, the 2015 champion, who came in at 2:07:59.
The two-second margin marked the closest finish since 2000 and a tie for the third-closest in the race’s 123-year history.
Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi was third in 2:08:06. Kenya’s Felix Kandi was fourth and 2017 champion Geoffrey Kirui was fifth.
It was the Boston debut for Cherono, a winner of six marathons, who most recently won the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon.
Cherono, Desisa and Kipkemoi broke away during Mile 24 and were shoulder-to-shoulder heading into the final mile. They stayed that way until Cherono and Desisa made it a two-man race with about 200 meters to go.
Desisa took the lead and appeared headed for victory before Cherono got on his left shoulder and outlasted him to the tape.
Early morning rain ceased by the start of the race this year, with a temperature of 59 degrees. Last year’s race was contested in the rain, with temperatures dipping into the mid-30s.
American Scott Fauble led the race around Mile 18, but started to fade at Mile 21. He finished seventh, in a time of 2:09:10.
Ethiopia’s Degefa wins women’s division
Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa broke away from the rest of the field early and ran alone for the last 20 miles to win the women’s Boston Marathon on Monday.
Degefa crossed the finish line in Boston’s Back Bay in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 30 seconds.
She is the eighth Ethiopan woman to win the race, and the third in seven years.
It’s her first major marathon victory. She won the Dubai Marathon in 2017, setting an Ethiopian national record in the process.
A half marathon specialist, Degefa opened up a 20-second advantage by Mile 7. It increased to more than three minutes by the halfway point.