Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi, the first man among more than 35,000 runners competing in Monday's Boston Marathon to cross the finish line, was also being celebrated because he is the first American to claim the top spot in more than 30 years.
The Olympic medalist, who believes God called him to run, completed the 26.2-mile race ahead of other male competitors in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 37 seconds.
Keflezighi achieved a similar victory in 2009 when he became the first American in 27 years to win the New York City Marathon, his first marathon victory.
"Keflezighi looked over his shoulder several times over the final mile. After realizing he wouldn't be caught, he raised his sunglasses, began pumping his right fist and made the sign of the cross," reports CBS News of his victory in Boston. The publication reports that Keflezighi was the first U.S. victor since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach, who won the women's title in 1985. The last American man to win the Boston Marathon was Greg Meyer in 1983.