Kara Goucher of The United States (R) rests after finishing third in the the 113th Boston Marathon as race medical personnel attend to second place finisher Dire Tune of Ethiopia (L) on the ground in Boston Massachusetts, USA, 20 April 2009. EPA/CJ GUNTHER
Duluth East High School graduate Kara Goucher, fighting to become the first American to win the Boston Marathon women's division in nearly a quarter-century, held the lead for several miles late in the famed 26.2-mile race before faltering and coming in a close third.
Salina Kosgei, 32, of Kenya, captured the women's crown in 2 hours, 32 minutes and 16 seconds. Kosgei edged defending champion Dire Tune, 23, of Ethiopia, by 1 second.
Goucher, 30 and a 2008 Olympian in shorter distances, was in front at Mile 25 before finishing in 2:32.25 (5:49 per mile). Her finished earned her $40,000.
Kosgei is awarded $150,000 for first. Tune's take is $75,000 for coming in second.
Goucher's voice cracked repeatedly in the postrace news conference. "I just wanted it for everybody that wanted it for me," she said. "I'm proud of how I did. I just wanted to be the one that won for everybody."
Goucher now lives in Portland, Ore., and trains under former Boston men's champ Alberto Salazar. She made her marathon debut at last fall's New York City Marathon and finished third among women in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 53 seconds, the best time by an American woman in that race's history.
She elected to move to the marathon distance after the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she was ninth at 5,000 meters and 10th in the 10,000.
The previous American woman to win Boston was Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach, in 1985.
Goucher graduated in 2001 from the University of Colorado with a degree in psychology, having grown up in Duluth. She is married to professional runner and 2000 Olympian Adam Goucher. They train with the Nike Oregon Project.
Another Minnesotan, Dick Beardsley, lost in a razor-tight Boston Marathon finish in 1982. That race, dubbed the "Duel in the Sun" on a hot day, was a battle between Beardsley and Salazar, the world record holder. Both broke the American record: Salazar won in 2:08:51, with Beardsley crossing at 2:08:53.
Beardsley a longtime resident of Detroit Lakes, Minn., now lives in Austin, Texas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
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