Sports

Kenyans rule men's, women's races at Boston Marathon

Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui won the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, pulling away from American Galen Rupp with about two miles to go and clocking an unofficial two hours nine minutes 37 seconds. Kenyan policewoman Edna Kiplagat won the women's race in 2:21:52.

City officials announce plans for memorials to mark bombing sites from 2013 event

Geoffrey Kirui won the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday in an unofficial time of two hours nine minutes 37 seconds. Fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat won the women's race in 2:21:52, needing only one try in Boston to add it to wins in London, New York and Los Angeles.

The Kenyans are back in Boston after a relative lull that saw them shut out in the world's most prestigious marathon twice in the past three years.

More surprisingly, so are the Americans.

Geoffrey Kirui won the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, pulling away from three-time U.S. Olympian Galen Rupp with two miles to go to give Kenya its first men's victory in five years. Edna Kiplagat won the women's race to complete the Kenyan sweep.

They were followed closely by Americans who grabbed two of the top four women's spots and six of the top ten for men — the first time that's happened since the race went professional in 1986.

"It's so exciting to see Americans being competitive here," said Rupp, the Olympic bronze medalist who was making his Boston debut. "It's a real exciting time. And it's awesome to see American distance running on the upswing and being competitive in these races."

Kirui finished in two hours nine minutes 37 seconds to claim a silver trophy, a guilded olive wreath from Marathon, Greece, and the $150,000 first prize. Rupp was 21 seconds back, and Japan's Suguru Osako 30 seconds behind him.

Calgary's Jacob Puzey was the top Canadian, 41st overall at 2:26:52.

Gillis pulls out with Achilles injury

Toronto's Rachel Hannah finished 23rd among women at 2:41:22.

Eric Gillis of Antigonish, N.S., was forced to withdraw with an Achilles injury. The 36-year-old placed 10th in the men's marathon at the Rio Olympics last August.

Kiplagat finished in 2:21:52 to win her Boston debut, adding the victory to two world championships and wins in London, New York and Los Angeles. She pulled ahead of Rose Chelimo of Bahrain in the Newton hills to win by 59 seconds.

American Jordan Hasay, making her first run at the 26.2-mile distance, was third and Desi Linden was fourth — the first time since 1991 that two U.S. women have finished in the top four.

Kenya had won either the men's or women's race every year since 1991 before being shut out in 2014 and again last year. In fact, Kenya had taken both titles six times since 2000, so dominating the top 10 that Boylston Street began to look like a Great Rift Valley training run.

For Kirui, even when he was running shorter distances, he had his eye on Boston.

"In my mind, I was sure that one day I would win this race," said Kirui, 25, who was running just his third marathon. "To come here to Boston, I knew I was going to face my colleagues who have run many times here. … I knew I would challenge some of the champions who have been competing here."

The warm temperatures that hit 25 C at the 20-kilometre mark in slowed the runners but the strong tailwind was a boost. especially for the wheelchair races.

Hug captures 3rd wheelchair race

Marcel Hug won Boston for the third time, outpushing 10-time champion Ernst Van Dyk and finishing in 1:18:04 to beat the course record and world best by 21 seconds. Fellow Swiss Manuela Schar shattered the women's mark by more than five minutes, winning in 1:28:17.

The winners' times on the point-to-point Boston course are considered a world best and not a world record because of the possibility of a supportive tailwind like the one on Monday.

"The wind is so important," Hug said. "The roads were good. Everything was fantastic today."

Earlier Monday, city officials announced plans for memorials to mark the sites where two bombs exploded during the 2013 Boston Marathon.

City officials and the families of five people who died in the bombing or its aftermath say there's also a plan to build a separate, larger memorial to victims, survivors and responders.

Pablo Eduardo is a Massachusetts resident and internationally known sculptor. He'll create the memorial markers on Boylston Street where bombs killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others.

Eduardo said Monday his goal is to "embody the spirit of those we lost and the spirit of the city they loved."

With files from CBC Sports

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