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American Keflezighi Wins 118th Boston Marathon

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(BOSTON, Mass.) -- It was arguably the most emotional Boston Marathon in the race's 118-year history, and Meb Keflezighi only added to it. By crossing the finish line in 2:08.37, he became the first American to win the event since 1983.

Just one year after the bombings that marred the 2013 marathon and claimed three lives, nearly 36,000 participants registered for the 118th running of the country's longest such event. The runners were boosted by hundreds of thousands of people who lined the streets of 26.2 mile course to show their support.

Keflezighi had to hold off multiple competitors, including Wilson Chebet who closed in the final two miles.

However, with the finish line in sight and Chebet a full 11 seconds behind, the 38-year old pumped his right fist in the air and made the sign of the cross as he broke the tape at the finish line on Boylston Street. Keflezighi's win was the first by an American male since Greg Meyer in 1983 and the first American runner to do it since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach won the women's race two years later.

Keflezighi's time of 2:08.37 was a personal best and added to his career trophy case that already boasts a New York City Marathon win in 2009 and 2004 Olympic Silver medal. Keflezighi is also the oldest winner of the Boston Marathon since James P. Henigan won the event in 1931, also at age 38.

Kenya's Rita Jeptoo won her second consecutive Boston Marathon and third overall, with a time of 2:18.57. American Tatyana McFadden won her second straight in the women's wheelchair race. Ernst van Dyk of South Africa won the men's wheelchair race for the 10th time in his career.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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