Kenyans Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat claim 2017 Boston Marathon titles

Geoffrey Kirui won the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, pulling away from three-time U.S. Olympian Galen Rupp with two miles to go to give Kenya its first men's victory in five years.

Edna Kiplagat won the women's race to complete the Kenyan sweep. They were followed closely by Americans who grabbed two of the top four women's spots and six of the top ten for men -- the first time that's happened since the race went professional in 1986.

Edna Kiplagat (left) and Geoffrey Kirui, both of Kenya, raise the trophy after winning the women's and men's races at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

"It's so exciting to see Americans being competitive here," said Rupp, the Olympic bronze medallist who was making his Boston debut.

"It's a real exciting time. And it's awesome to see American distance running on the upswing and being competitive in these races."

Kirui finished in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 37 seconds to claim a silver trophy, a guided olive wreath from Marathon, Greece, and the $150,000 first prize.

Rupp was 21 seconds back, and Japan's Suguru Osako 30 seconds behind him. Rounding out the top 10 were runners from California, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Utah.

Kiplagat finished in 2:21:52 to win her Boston debut, adding the victory to two world championships and wins in London, New York and Los Angeles. She pulled ahead of Rose Chelimo of Bahrain in the Newton hills to win by 59 seconds.

Kenya had won either the men's or women's race every year since 1991 before being shut out in 2014 and again last year.

In fact, Kenya had taken both titles six times since 2000, so dominating the top 10 that Boylston Street began to look like a Great Rift Valley training run. But Ethiopia has surpassed its East African neighbours on Patriots' Day the past four years, earning its first sweep in 2016.

Then, in December, Kenyan Rita Jeptoo was stripped of her 2014 title for failing a drug test and it was handed instead to Ethiopia's Buzunesh Deba.

Copyright © 2017 | AP

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