Desisa wins 119th Boston Marathon

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk

Emotions run thick. Just two days ago, runners lined up to run the Boston Marathon, the 119th in history. But who can forget two years ago? The bombs, the lives lost. Hundreds of innocent people injured, their lives changed forever.

Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, crossed the finish line first in 2013, but he was unable to celebrate because of the senseless acts that killed and injured so many. Due to the circumstances, he was not able to have the kind of victory celebration a champion of the Boston Marathon deserves. It tore my heart to pieces, tears falling as I learned he donated his winner's medal to the city in memory of the victims. Such a heartfelt and selfless gesture.

On Monday, Desisa earned his second Boston Marathon title, finishing in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 17 seconds, claiming the golden olive wreath, the $150,000. prize and the winner's medal, which he'll keep and cherish this time. He was able to enjoy the celebration this year, although it was bittersweet, because the memories of two years ago live strong. BOSTON STRONG was prevalent on the course: on t-shirts, signs, and chalked on the road. It will remain in the hearts of America forever.  

Adhane Tsegay, a fellow Ethiopian, finished second, 31 seconds behind Desisa. Kenya's Carolina Rotich won the women's race, beating Mare Dibaba in a shoulder-to-shoulder sprint down Boylston Street to win by 4 seconds. Carolina's time: 2:24:55. This is Rotich's first Boston title, giving Kenya the fifth straight women's champion.

Keflezighi finished eighth a year after his victory, the first for an American since 1983, giving the city a tangible symbol of the healing of this event. In an interview, he said, "I was crying on Boylston Street, because it was bringing up memories, good and bad. People were cheering like crazy, saying 'USA'. I was chanting with them." Last year, he raced with the names of the bombing victims written on his race bib.

As an athlete who has trained for and participated in numerous events, I understand the passion, the drive and determination to continue such a race, even after terrorists threatened our people. We must remain strong and believe that GOOD will outlive BAD.

To all the runners out there, I praise you for your commitment. May you continue to put one foot in front of the other to reach your desired destination - whether that's to win a prize or simply to live a healthy lifestyle.

PS. My heroine in Passion's Spirit wants to qualify for Boston ... will she?  

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