Boston Marathon winner wins by four seconds

The Turnstile

It would take far more than just a few rain showers and gusting winds to dent the spirits of Boston and its runners at the Boston Marathon.

About 30,000 runners set out early Monday morning to compete in one of the world's most prestigious races. The marathon covers more than 26 miles of Boston's hilly terrain, and this year's runners faced rain and 20-mph headwinds almost every step of the way.

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[Slideshow: Photos from the 2015 Boston Marathon]

In the end, the men's race came down to Lelisa Desisa and Yemane Adhane Tsegay, both of Ethiopia. With about a mile remaining, Desisa pulled out to a seven-second lead. He would go on to win with a time of 2:09:17; this marked his second Boston Marathon victory, after 2013. Meb Keflezighi, last year's winner, crossed at 2:12:42. Keflezighi had been a pre-race favorite, but a hamstring pull late in the race ended his chances. He ran the final steps holding hands with a woman he pulled from the crowd.

Here's Desisa celebrating just after the finish:

The women's race featured Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia and Caroline Rotich of Kenya battling stride for stride until the finish. Rotich made her move with 500 feet to go, kicking past Dibaba, and ended up winning with a time of 2:24:55, just four seconds ahead of Dibaba. This marked Rotich's first Boston Marathon victory.

Much of the race featured packs pacing one another for the lead, like this nine-man crew shortly after fabled Heartbreak Hill:

Earlier, Marcel Hug won the men's wheelchair division in a time of 1:29:53. Here's a shot of Tatyana McFadden winning the women's wheelchair division in 1:52:54:

This year's race, like last year's, ran under the shadow of 2013, when bombs at the finish line killed three and injured 260. But 2014's race was both a show of defiance and a time of inspiration, as Keflezighi became the first American to win the Boston Marathon since 1983.

Even as this year's race unites the city of Boston on Patriot's Day, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the 2013 bombers, is now in the punishment phase of his trial. Having been found guilty on all 30 counts related to the bombing, Tsarnaev faces the death penalty. However, several of those impacted by the bombs have said they do not wish for Tsarnaev to be put to death, but rather to be imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole.

The Boston Marathon requires qualification, which means it doesn't have the usual high celebrity contingent of other marathons. This year's race included actors Uzo Aduba of "Orange Is The New Black" and Sean Astin, who should be used to trekking long distances having walked hundreds of miles as Sam in "Lord of the Rings."

Not competing this year: two-time women's defending champion Rita Jeptoo, who has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. While she has retained her two Boston titles, she was stripped of both her Chicago Marathon win and a $500,000 World Marathon Majors bonus. Kenya has won the last seven women's races, including this one, and 19 of the last 25 men's races.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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