April 15 (UPI) — Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono and Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa took home the men’s and women’s first place awards at Monday’s 123rd Boston Marathon.
Both runners were making their Boston Marathon debuts.
Cherono won the closest men’s race since 1988, holding off two-time Boston Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa by just two seconds.
The winning time in the men’s event was 2:07:57, while Desisa finished at 2:08:07.
“I’m poor at finishing races, but, today, I did a fantastic job,” Cherono said via Boston.com. “It was nice for me.
Third place in the men’s event went to Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi with a time of 2:08:06. Kenya’s Felix Kandi was fourth and 2017 champion Geoffrey Kirui finished fifth.
The top two Americans in the event were Scott Fauble and Jared Ward, finishing seventh and eighth, respectively.
Cherono had won six marathons in his career leading up to Monday. His last win came at the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon.
Degefa took over the lead at the four-mile mark of the women’s event and never gave it back. She finished with a time of 2:23:31.
Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat took home second, while American Jordan Hasay finished third in the women’s race.
Degefa win marks the eighth time an Ethiopian woman has won the race. An Ethiopian woman has won three of the last seven Boston Marathons.
Defega won the Dubai Marathon in 2017. Monday’s win marked the first time she claimed first prize in a major marathon.
“I was so focused because I’ve never won a major marathon,” Cherono said. “I was so determined to win.”
The annual marathon was expected to draw more than 30,000 runners. Weather for the event was wet and cool, with temperatures in the 60s.