Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa (Le-LEE-Sa DEE-See-Sa), 5’7″, took home his second Boston Marathon win on Monday in wet and cold conditions in 2:09:17, which is, yes, running the entire 26.2 miles at about a 5-minute mile clip. In 2013, his previous Boston win, Lelisa donated his medal to the bombing victims.
“Sport holds the power to unify and connect people all over the world,” Desisa, 25, told the crowd through a translator in 2013. “Sport should never be used as a battleground.”
He is a fast emerging star in the world of elite distance running, having been on track as a teenager to shine on the international stage. Desisa made his marathon debut in 2013 at the Dubai Marathon and won handily, recording one of the fastest times ever for that course.
“He showed his depth of commitment to the people who live around here and the spirit they displayed,” said Tom Grilk, the executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon. “He knew that everybody was attacked and he will always be part of that community. There was no more deeper or more tangible way to express it than the way he did.”