A Year Later, Boston Makes Triumphant Return At Marathon

It was a special day for Bostonians and Americans alike Monday as the 118th running of the Boston Marathon went on without a hitch a year after the infamous bombings that rocked the city’s streets.

But in 2014, it was a celebration of the strength of a city and the perseverance of the human spirit as history was made. For the first time since 1983, an American man crossed the finish line on Boylston St. first.

American Meb Keflizighi claimed the men’s title in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds. Fittingly, he had the names of last year’s victims written in black marker on his race bib.

At 39, Keflizighi was thought to be past his running prime, his best days in the rearview mirror. Three years ago he lost his Nike shoe sponsorship, but 2014 served as a comeback for the American who became the oldest champion since 1930 and produced some symmetry to the comeback of the city of Boston, albeit with a bunch of new security measures in place.

“This is probably the most meaningful victory for an American because of what happened last year. I’m almost 39. I just ran a personal best. I just won the Boston Marathon. I feel blessed,” Keflizighi says.

As for the women, former Tar Heel runner Shalane Flanagan led for the first 19 miles of the race, but ultimately, her personal best time wasn’t enough to top defending champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya this year. However, Flanagan held on down the stretch to record another top ten finish at the prestigious event.

“I just love Boston so much. I just wanted my love for Boston to be portrayed through my race today,” Flanagan says.

It was a memorable staging of one of the most iconic events on the sports calendar. In the end, on this day, Boston and the entire nation, won.


Former Tar Heel Duo Set To Take On World

Photo Courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications

MOSCOW – A pair of Carolina track and field stars are lacing it up for a run at global glory.

USA’s Shalane Flanagan and India’s Vikas Gowda compete at the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow this weekend.

Sunday, Flanagan–a four-time national champion while at UNC–competes in the 10,000 meters after winning the event at the USA Track & Field Championships in July with a time of 31:43.20.

The highlight of Flanagan’s career was likely in 2008 when she earned a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Gowda–the 2006 US national discus champion while in Chapel Hill–throws the discus at Worlds after winning the event at the Asian Athletics Championships in July.

You can watch Flanagan’s quest for gold this Sunday. The race is scheduled to air on NBC from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Gowda’s competition begins on Monday and can be seen on Universal Sports from 1:30-4:30 a.m. Eastern Time.