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Boston Marathon 2019: Lawrence Cherono wins in final sprint

A funny thing happened to the Boston Marathon on Monday — after two hours and 26-plus miles, it turned into a sprint.

Lawrence Cherono of Kenya won the famed race by only a few strides, overtaking Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa in a mad dash at the finish.

With the runners shoulder-to-shoulder near the end, Cherono found a little more gas to get by Desisa and raise his arms as he crossed the line at 2:07:57.

Desisa, who won the 2013 edition that was marred by a terrorist bombing, clocked in two seconds later for one of the closest finishes in the race’s 123-year history.

Kenneth Kipkemoi of Kenya finished third.

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It was big day for first-timers. In addition to Cherono celebrating his first victory in Boston, Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia took her first women’s crown in a major marathon, finishing in 2:23:31.

Edna Kiplagat of Kenya was second, and Jordan Hasay of the U.S. was third.

Organizers had been concerned about inclement weather, but storms moved through the area overnight, leaving reasonable conditions that turned to sunshine later in the day.

david.wharton@latimes.com

Twitter: @LAtimesWharton

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