Duluth native and 2008 Olympian Kara Goucher ran a personal best for fifth place Monday morning in the women's division of the 115th Boston Marathon after spending most of the race within striking distance of the lead.
Goucher, 32, finished the 26.2-mile race in a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 52 seconds. That was a little more than 2 minutes behind the winner, Caroline Kilel of Kenya.
Her previous best time came in 2008 in New York City Marathon (2:25:53).
In the men's division, Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai won in an unofficial 2:03:02 -- the fastest marathon ever. The previous best of 2:03:59 was by Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin in 2008. Because of the differences in courses and wind conditions, there isn't an official world record in marathons.
Nearly 19 miles into the women's race, Goucher was in ninth place but only 11 seconds behind Kilel.
Goucher ended with a pace of 5:32 per mile.
In 2009, Goucher finished third at Boston, 9 seconds out of first, after leading for much of the last 5 miles.
The Duluth East High School graduate grabbed a bronze medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2007 World Championships, won the 5,000 meters in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials and won the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships in the same event.
At the 2008 Olympics, she competed in the 5,000 (ninth) and 10,000 meters (10th).
She lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband and gave birth to a son in September.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482