BOSTON — Two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line Monday two hours after Lelisa Desisa and Rita Jeptoo crossed it to win the race. Two people were killed and dozens injured, and authorities said they were investigating another blast at the John F. Kennedy Library five miles away.
Race volunteers and public officials rushed to the aid of wounded spectators, and the medical tent set up to care for fatigued runners was quickly converted to a trauma clinic. Runners and spectators were crying as they fled the billowing gray smoke rising from a running gear store overlooking the end of the course.
The explosion sent some runners tumbling to the pavement and others, already unsteady from the 26.2-mile run, were knocked down by those rushing toward the scene. A Rhode Island state trooper who ran in the race the blasts tore limbs off dozens of people.
The blasts shattered the euphoria of what had been an uneventful 117th edition of the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon. Runners still on the course were diverted to the Boston Common; race officials said 4,496 runners had crossed the checkpoint at more than 24 miles but did not make it to the finish line.
A year after record high temperatures sent unprecedented numbers of participants to the medical tent, temperatures in the high 40s greeted the field of 23,326 at the Hopkinton starting line. It climbed to 54 degrees by the time the winners reached Boston’s Copley Square.
Desisa, of Ethiopia, won a three-way sprint down Boylston Street to finish in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds and snap a string of three consecutive Kenyan victories.
“Here we have a relative newcomer,” said Ethiopia’s Gebregziabher Gebremariam, who finished third
In just his second race at 26.2 miles, Desisa finished 5 seconds ahead of Kenya’s Micah Kogo to earn $150,000 and the traditional olive wreath. American Jason Hartmann finished fourth for the second year in a row.