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American wins Boston Marathon one year after bombings

ESPN staff
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Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the men's race since 1983 © Getty Images
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American Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon, a year after a bombing at the finish line left three dead and more than 260 people injured.

Keflezighi is a former New York City Marathon champion and Olympic medallist. He ran the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to the finish on Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay on Monday in two hours eight minutes and 37 seconds.

Keflezighi held off Wilson Chebet of Kenya who finished 11 seconds behind. The 38-year-old looked over his shoulder several times over the final mile. After realising he wouldn't be caught, he raised his sunglasses, began pumping his right fist and made the sign of the cross.

No US runner had won the race since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach took the women's title in 1985; the last American man to win was Greg Meyer in 1983.

Security was tight along the 26.2-mile course as nearly 36,000 runners set out from the starting line in a "Boston Strong" show of resilience a year after the bombing that turned the race into a scene of carnage.

The two pressure-cooker bombs that went off near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260 in a hellish spectacle of smoke and broken glass.

Police were deployed in force along the route, with helicopters circling above and bomb-sniffing dogs checking through trash cans. Officers were posted on roofs.

Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray said it had been a long and difficult year. "We're taking back our race," he said. "We're taking back the finish line."

A total of 35,755 athletes were registered to run - the second-largest field in its history, with many coming to show support for the event and the city that was traumatised by the attack on its signature sporting event.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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