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American Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon men's title on a day that was marked by remembrances of the bombings one year ago.

He held off Wilson Chebet of Kenya at the finish to win in a time of 2:08.37.

Keflezighi, who will turn 39 next month, was cheered by massive crowds from Hopkinton to Boylston Street wearing a red and white top and blue shorts. He's the first American man to win in Boston since Greg A. Meyer in 2:09:00 in 1983, four years before Keflezighi immigrated to the U.S.

The 2004 Olympic silver medalist was born in Eritrea and lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. His last major marathon victory was the Olympic trials marathon in 2012. He won New York in 2009.

Keflezighi broke away from Josphat Boit, an American runner who was born in Kenya, midway through the race. By mile 17, Keflezighi had a minute lead over the pack that included defending champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia.

The American's victory came somewhat of a surprise on Patriots' Day. A runner from Kenya or Ethiopia has won the last 12 men's titles in Boston.

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya defended her title in the women's race, setting a course record of 2:18.57. American Shalane Flanagan set a fast pace through the first half, leading the women's pack at the halfway mark and finishing seventh in 2:22.02.

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