April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Geoffrey Mutai won the 115th Boston Marathon in the fastest time ever for the distance, while Caroline Kilel took the women’s race for a Kenyan sweep.
Mutai, 29, broke away from a small pack at about the 16th mile and held on to win the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) race from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to Boston in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds, besting Haile Gebrselassie’s time of 2:03:59 in Berlin in 2008 as the fastest in history.
Mutai’s time eclipsed the Boston Marathon mark of 2:05:52 set by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya a year ago. Moses Mosop of Kenya came in second this year at 2:03:06.
Although Mutai’s time is the fastest marathon ever run, it isn’t a world record since Boston isn’t a record-eligible course, according to the race’s website.
Ryan Hall, who split with coach Terrence Mahon and left California’s Mammoth Track Club this year, was the top American in the men’s race, finishing fourth at 2:04:58. Hall’s time is the fastest by an American.
“This race will go down as maybe the greatest marathon ever run and I was part of writing that story out there,” Hall said in a televised interview.
Mutai and Kilel both received $150,000 for their victories, $100,000 each less than the first prizes at the Dubai Marathon, the world’s richest.
Their performances came a day after another Kenyan runner, Emmanuel Mutai, set a London Marathon record of 2:04:40.
Kilel finished the women’s event in Boston in 2:22:36, outkicking American Desiree Davila over the closing mile and winning by two seconds. American Kara Goucher, who gave birth to her first child in October, finished fifth in 2:24:52.
“That was my perfect day out there today,” Davila said in a televised interview. “She was just better than I was. There was nothing left in the legs. It was the most incredible experience of my running career. I loved every second of it.”
Joan Benoit Samuelson, a 53-year-old two-time winner of the women’s race, finished in 2:51:29. She was competing in the Boston event for the first time in 18 years.
No U.S. runner has won the Boston Marathon since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach took the women’s race in 1985. Americans haven’t won both the men’s and women’s divisions since 1983, when Greg Meyer was the last U.S. male champion.
Masazumi Soejima of Japan won the men’s push rim wheelchair race in a sprint to the finish, while Wakako Tsuchida, also of Japan, won the women’s push rim race for the fifth straight time. Soejima overtook Australia’s Kurt Fearnley, a two-time paralympic champion, and South Africa’s Ernst Van Dyk, who was seeking his 10th straight victory in Boston, over the closing mile of the course.
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