BOSTON - American Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon on Monday, a year after a bombing at the finish line left three dead and more than 260 people injured.
He finished soon after Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended her title in a course record.
Keflezighi is a former New York City Marathon champion and Olympic medalist. He ran from Hopkinton to the finish on Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds.
He held off Wilson Chebet of Kenya, who finished 11 seconds behind.
Keflezighi looked over his shoulder several times over the final mile. After realizing he wouldn't be caught, he raised his sunglasses, began pumping his right fist and made the sign of the cross.
He's the first U.S. winner since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach took the women's title in 1985; the last American man to win was Greg Meyer in 1983.
Jeptoo clocked 2 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 (37-kilometer) mark. Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia finished second with an unofficial time of 2:19:59.
A large police presence greeted runners and spectators filtering in Monday morning for the Boston Marathon, a year after a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Despite heightened security, the mood was festive at the finish line on Boylston Street. Spontaneous applause broke out as a group of Boston police officers walked near the site of last year's twin bombing and children danced as the Rolling Stones' song "Start Me Up" blared over the loudspeakers.
The most obvious change for the 118th edition of the world's oldest annual marathon was the heavy security presence. State and local police officers were everywhere, even on the rooftops of some buildings.Helicopters circled above and bomb-sniffing dogs checked through trash cans.
Yet for all the security, the atmosphere was calm and friendly.
"I think everybody is being very pleasant," said Jean Bertschman, a Hopkinton resident who comes to watch the start of the marathon most years and had never seen anything close to this level of security. "I think it's going to be a very good race."
Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans told CBS News' Jeff Glor the challenges of properly policing the 26.2-mile race are considerable.
"This is a soft target," Evans said. "There's 8 cities and towns here that are involved."
In addition to the thousands of extra uniformed officers added to the security effort, "we're gonna have a lot of undercover assets working the crowd," Evans said.
Runners attending the event had to use clear plastic bags for their belongings, and fans hoping to watch near the finish line are encouraged to leave strollers and backpacks behind. More than 100 cameras have been installed along the route in Boston, and 50 or so "observation points" will be set up around the finish line "to monitor the crowd," the Boston Athletic Association said.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said there have been no specific threats against the race or the city for the Massachusetts holiday of Patriots' Day.
"We're not taking that as a sign to sort of stand down," he said. "We're very prepared, and we're assuring people as much as we can that it'll be a fun day and a safe one."
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