• Boston Marathon

Jeptoo defends Boston Marathon title

ESPN staff
April 21, 2014
Rita Jeptoo won the Boston Marathon for a third time with a course record © Getty Images

Kenya's Rita Jeptoo successfully defended the Boston Marathon title she said she could not enjoy a year ago after the fatal bombings.

Jeptoo finished Monday's race in a course-record two hours 18 minutes 57 seconds. She becomes the seventh three-time Boston Marathon champion.

Jeptoo broke away from a group of five runners at the 23-mile mark. Buzunesh Deba finished second with an unofficial time of two hours 19 minutes 59 seconds.

"It was very difficult to be happy. People were injured and children died," she had said of last year's marathon. "If I'm going to win again, I hope I can be happier and to show people, like I was supposed to last year."

American Shalane Flanagan finished seventh after leading for more than half the race. She took a gamble by setting the early pace. She ran her first mile in five minutes 11 seconds, but fell back on the Newton Hills about 21 miles into the race.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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