Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia used a big kick in the final mile to win the 2013 Boston Marathon on Monday, crossing the finish line in the 117th running of the iconic race in 2:10:22. For Desisa, who's just 23 years old, it's his second win at the marathon distance, having won Dubai in his debut earlier this year.
Desisa becomes the first Ethiopian to win Boston since 2009, snapping a three-year streak of Kenyan wins. In fact, it's just the second win by an Ethiopian since 2005, and only the third since 1989. Kenya runners had won nine of the previous 12 Boston Marathons.
Micah Kogo of Kenya was in second place, some five seconds behind, while fellow Ethiopian Gebregziabher Gebremariam finished third, just a second after Kogo.
American Jason Hartmann just missed the podium by 1:44, finishing in fourth place for the second-straight year.
The men's race was a slower pace for most of it, with a lead group of 10-12 runners for a majority of the course. Canadian Robin Watson had the lead as late as the 25K mark before Chumba Dickson decided it was time to go at the Newton Hills, pushing the pace to take the lead at 30K. No matter who led the faster effort, however, Desisa was able to keep pace, usually sitting just behind the leader.
By Mile 23, the men's race had been whittled down to the top three finishers. They stayed tightly bunched until after the final turn onto Boylston Street, when Desisa made a kick that neither Kogo nor Gebremariam could match.