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Ethiopia's Desisa Wins Boston Marathon; Kenya's Rotich First Among Women

Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, crosses the finish line to win the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Charles Krupa
Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, crosses the finish line to win the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Updated at 12:29 p.m. ET

Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa has won the elite men's Boston Marathon and Caroline Rotich of Kenya finished first in the elite women'sdivision.

Delisa, who previously won the race in 2013, won today with a time of 2:09:17. Yemane Adhane Tsegay (2:09:48), also of Ethiopia, finished second; Kenyans Wilson Chebet (2:10:22) and Bernard Kipyego finished third and fourth, respectively. Dathan Ritzenhein, seventh, was the highest-placed American. Defending champion Meb Keflezighi, also American, finished eighth in 2:12:42.

Rotich crossed the finish line on Boylston Street with a time of 2:24:55. Mare Didaba (2:24:59) and Buzunesh Deba (2:25:09), both of Ethiopia, finished second and third. American Desiree Linden finished fourth with a time of 2:25:39.

Desisa last won the race in 2013 — the same year as the deadly bombing near the race's finish line. He returned his medal to the city in honor of those killed and wounded.

Here are the results for the women's wheelchair division:

1 - Tatyana McFadden (USA) 1:52:54

2 - Wakako Tsuchida (JPN) 1:53:48

3 - Susannah Scaroni (USA) 1:57:21

4 - Amanda McGrory (USA) 1:57:21

The results for the men's wheelchair race are:

1 - Marcel Hug (SUI) 1:29:53

2 - Masazumi Soejima (JPN) 1:36:27

3 - Ernst Van Dyk (RSA) 1:36:27

4 - Kota Hotinoue (JPN) 1:36:29

Our original post continues

The elite female and male runners are off on a wet and windy day at the Boston Marathon.

Earlier this morning, competitors who are mobility impaired and contestants in wheelchairs began the 26.2-mile race from Hopkinton to Boylston Street in Boston.

The elite athletes will likely finish the course a little past noon ET. We'll update this post with the results.

Today's Boston Marathon is the second since the bombing at the finish line in 2013 — and though last year's marathon went off safely, reporter Rupa Shenoy of member station WGBH tells our Newscast unit that that doesn't mean police are backing off on security.

"They've been really careful to keep it low key," Rupa says. "Officials say they don't want to scare the public. So there are many plainclothes officers in the crowds. And a lot of the tactical teams and other emergency responders that would spring into action if something happened are not in sight. Officials say that they could be in place in a moment if something happened."

NPR's Tovia Smith reminds us that this year's race comes a day before the sentencing phase is to begin for convicted marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The attack near the finish line killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

"They've put up extra checkpoints, extra undercover and uniformed police, bomb-sniffing dogs and cameras everywhere, but, officials say, at the same time they are trying to keep the open, festive feel of the marathon as it always has been for the million on so spectators who line the course to cheer on runners," Tovia says.

WBUR has key race times here.

The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the annual marathon, is posting live updates on Facebook and .

The elite men's race was won last year by American Meb Keflezighi; Rito Keptoo was the first elite woman to cross the finish line, but her victory has been questioned after she failed a drug test last October.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.