Kenyans shine in strong wins at Boston Marathon

By Scott Malone

By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) - Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat produced a Kenyan sweep at the Boston Marathon, winning the men's and women's races on Monday by conquering the race's hilly final miles to establish their dominance.

Kirui finished with in two hours nine minutes and 37 seconds after holding off a challenge by American Galen Rupp in the race's final stretch down Boylston Street, the site of the deadly 2013 bombing attack.

Kiplagat, a 38-year-old mother of two, ran alone for the final miles of the race, finishing with in 2:21:52, almost a minute ahead of Bahrain's Rose Chelimo.

The Kenyan maintained her long lead despite briefly stopping in the final miles when she realized she had grabbed a rival's water bottle from an aid station and went back to return it.

American Jordan Hasay, running her first competitive marathon, came in third in the women's field and Japan's Suguru Osako finished third in the men's race.

Security was high along the course, that begins in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and passes through Boston's suburbs to the finish line on Boylston Street, where a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers in 2013 set off two homemade bombs, killing three people and injuring more than 200.

Meb Keflezighi, who in 2014 became the first American to win the Boston Marathon in over three decades, finished 13th in his final appearance at the race.

Keflezighi, who plans to retire from racing after this year's New York marathon, stopped after his victory to touch the hand of Bill Richard, whose 8-year-old son Martin was the youngest person to die in the bombing.

Tens of thousands of people packed the streets for Boston's largest sporting event, held on the Patriots Day holiday, which commemorates the start of the American Revolution.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Richard Lough and Larry Fine)

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