On a chilly, soggy spring day, the 119th Boston Marathon kicked off Monday morning to the delight of thousands of onlookers and supporters. The winners were Lelisa Desisa for the men and Caroline Rotich for the women.

Nine runners from the Battle Creek area competed in Monday’s Boston Marathon. Thomas Allred had the best local time.  The 50 year old finished with a time of 3-hours, 14.9 minutes to place 5,566th overall.  Others running were Patrick Farrell, Tim Wendt, Michelle Acton, Katie Thill, Pamela Condlyffe, Nancy Yager, Marcy Sacks, and Christine Gaudard.

This was the second victory for Desisa, who was the winner in 2013 -- the infamous race at which the Tsarnaev brothers set off bombs near the finish line, killing three people and injuring 264. Desisa, of Ethiopia, gave his winning medal to the city of Boston afterward; this time, he's keeping it for himself.

On the women's side, Rotich finished with a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 55 seconds, beating second-place Mare Dibaba by just four seconds. The race came down to a thrilling one-on-one sprint to the finish line, with the Kenyan Rotich coming out on top. She had not led at any of the previous checkpoints in the race.

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Since the horrific explosions at the race two years ago, the Boston Marathon has only gained more and more national attention. This year's edition of the world's oldest annual marathon featured 30,000 runners and a ton of "Boston Strong" banners and T-shirts. Last year's race was an extremely high-security event, for obvious reasons, and this year's seemed to edge its way back toward normalcy, though surely no one will ever forget what happened April 15, 2013.

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