East African duo Caroline Rotich of Kenya and Lelisa Desisa from Ethiopia surged to victories at the 119th Boston Marathon on Monday.
Rotich, 31, unleashed a ferocious kick with less than 200m remaining, out-kicking Ethiopian Mare Dibaba in the final 80m, to capture the first Boston victory of her career in 2:24:55.
The 31 year-old Kenyan, with a lifetime best of 2:23:22 and better known as a half marathoner, pocketed the $150,000 prize money for winning her first Abbott World Marathon Majors race.
“At the 25-mile mark, I was still in the group with the two ladies and I still felt strong, but I didn’t know how strong they were and if they had enough for a last kick,’’ said Rotich after the race.
“But when I turned to last part of the race, and she got [the lead], I thought I would finish second. Just like that I saw the finish line and was like, ‘Oh, I can kick!’ Once I saw the finish, I knew I could let go.”
Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa got to keep his medal this time after giving it to the organisers in the wake of the bombing tragedy at the 117th Boston Marathon in 2013.
Last year, he returned with a weight of expectation on his shoulders, but a couldn’t finish the race.
However, in 2015, Desisa stayed strong through less than ideal conditions, then surged away, creating an ever-widening margin that brought him through 25 miles in 2:03:23/4:52 and to the finish line in 2:09:17.
His compatriot Yemane Adhane Tsegay clocked 2:09:48 to finish second while Kenyan Wilson Chebet, second here in 2014, held on for third place in 2:10:22.
“I’m happy and excited for my second victory,” Desisa said after the race. “I saw in 2013 where to stop and hold back and where the ups and downs are.
“I worked with my coach to prepare for the course better and did more training that I did in 2013. During the race, after 35km, knowing who was around me, I knew I was going to win because my speed was greater than theirs.”
|2.||Yemane Adhane Tsegay||ETH||2:09:48|