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Cherono, Degefa get it done at Boston Marathon


BOSTON — The men’s and women’s races at the Boston Marathon ended very differently.

Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono outsprinted Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa over the final few steps to win the men’s race Monday. Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa broke away from the rest of the field early and ran alone for the last 20 miles to win the women’s event.

Cherono crossed the finish line in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 7 minutes, 57 seconds on Monday. That was just ahead of Desisa, the 2015 champion, who came in at 2:07:59.

Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi was third in 2:08:06. Kenya’s Felix Kandi was fourth and 2017 champion Geoffrey Kirui was fifth.

It was the Boston debut for Cherono, a winner of six marathons, who most recently won the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon.

Cherono, Desisa and Kipkemoi broke away during Mile 24 and were shoulder-to-shoulder heading into the final mile. They stayed that way until Cherono and Desisa made it a two-man race with about 200 meters to go.

Desisa took the lead and appeared headed for victory before Cherono got on his left shoulder and outlasted him to the tape.

Early-morning rain ceased by the start of the race this year, with a temperature of 59 degrees. Last year’s race was contested in the rain, with temperatures dipping into the mid-30s.

American Scott Fauble led the race around Mile 18, but he started to fade at Mile 21. He finished seventh, in a time of 2:09:10.

Degefa crossed the finish line in Boston’s Back Bay in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 30 seconds.

She is the eighth Ethiopian woman to win the race, and the third in seven years.

It’s her first major marathon victory. She won the Dubai Marathon in 2017, setting an Ethiopian national record in the process.

A half-marathon specialist, Degefa opened up a 20-second advantage by Mile 7. It increased to more than three minutes by the halfway point.

Daniel Romanchuk won the men’s wheelchair race with the fastest time ever by an American. Romanchuk crossed the finish line on Boylston Street on Monday in an official time of 1 hour, 21 minutes, 36 seconds.

Manuela Schar, meanwhile, is on her way to a sweep of the World Marathon Major women’s wheelchair races.

Schar won Boston for the second time on Monday, finishing in 1 hour, 34 minutes, 19 seconds with no one else in sight. She is already the defending champion in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. If she wins in London in two weeks, she will have swept the series.

Romanchuk is the youngest winner of the race at 20 years, eight months and 12 days. He is the first American winner since Jim Knaub in 1993.

Romanchuk finished three minutes ahead of Japan’s Masazumi Soejima, who was second in 1:24:30. Marcel Hug was third, coming in at 1:26:42.

Romanchuk says: “I knew it was possible, it was just a matter of everything coming together.”

Romanchuk’s victory breaks up the recent dominance of Hug and Ernst van Dyk, who between them have 14 Boston Marathon victories. Hug had won the previous four Boston races.

Schar, 34, from Switzerland, was about six minutes slower than she was when she set the record in her other Boston victory two years ago.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.





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