Lelisa Desisa won the 2015 Boston Marathon men's race Monday, completing the 26-mile, 385-yard course with an unofficial time of 2:09:17. Desisa, of Ethiopia, also won the 2013 marathon and famously gave his medal back to the city in solidarity with victims of the bombings.
“I am happy to win, No. 1,” he said Monday, the Washington Post reported, “and for Boston -- Boston 2013!”
Desisa, 25, was the favorite going into Monday's race even though he dropped out before finishing the 2014 Boston Marathon. This year, USA Today reported he won by 31 seconds over Yemane Adhane Tsegay, also of Ethiopia, and Wilson Chebet, of Kenya. The women's division runner was Carolina Rotich, of Kenya, with a time of 2:24:55.
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) April 20, 2015
— ESPN Endurance (@ESPN_Endurance) April 20, 2015
Desisa's profile in the Boston Marathon media guide calls him "a young talent who has quickly become one of the best marathoners in the world." His achievements include finishing second at the TCS New York City Marathon in November, winning the gold medal in the half-marathon at the 2011 All-Africa Games and earning runner-up at the Dubai Marathon in January. “I want to compete all the time,” Desisa told the Post via an interpreter in 2011. “When there is a chance to run, I’m going to run.”
More than 30,000 people faced 40-degree weather and 20-mph winds Monday in Boston to run in the 2015 marathon, the second to be held after the bombings that killed three and injured 260 on April 15, 2013. "Sport holds the power to unify people and to connect people from all over the world with one another, allowing them the opportunity to share in their common humanity and to celebrate the richness of our world’s cultural diversity," Desisa said in 2013. "Sport should never be used as a battleground."