BOSTON - Kenya's Salina Kosgei outkicked Kara Goucher and defending champion Dire Tune in the last mile of the Boston Marathon on Monday, going back and forth with Tune in the final blocks of Boylston Street to win the closest women's finish in the event's history.
Ethiopia's Deriba Merga overcame his fade in the Olympic marathon at Beijing to win the men's race, with Ryan Hall picking up another third place for US runners - their best showing in more than 20 years.
Merga had pulled away by the bottom of Heartbreak Hill, winning in 2hrs:8min:42sec - 50 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Daniel Rono of Kenya, with Hall another eight seconds behind.
Merga led much of the Olympic marathon last August before he wilted in the heat and was passed in the last quarter-mile, finishing fourth.
His victory gave Ethiopia their second in five years; Kenya had won in 16 of the past 18 years, and will have to be satisfied with a women's title - their seventh since the turn of the century.
The men seemed undaunted by a stiff headwind that slowed the women to a methodical pace - 6:28 for the first mile.
South African Ernst Van Dyk breezed to his eighth win in the men's wheelchair race, matching the Boston record set by Jean Driscoll, who won eight women's wheelchair races. - Sapa-AP