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Posted at 01:17 PM ET, 04/16/2012

Boston Marathon 2012: Kenyan runners Wesley Korir, Sharon Cherop win

On a spring day better suited to sipping lemonade in the shade than running 26.2 miles, Kenyan runners Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop were the winners of the Boston Marathon.

Korir finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 40 seconds — the second-slowest Boston Marathon since 1985 and more than nine minutes behind Geoffrey Mutai’s winning time last year. On a cool day with a tailwind, Mutai ran the fastest marathon in history a year ago; today, he was forced to drop out around the 18-mile mark because of cramping. Korir is the 19th Kenyan man to win the race in 22 years; Kenyan runners swept the top three spots in the men’s and women’s divisions.


Sharon Cherop of Kenya springs beats second-placed compatriot Jemima Jelegat Sumgong to the finish line. (Elise Amendola / AP)
Korir, who has won the Los Angeles Marathon twice, lives in the United States and plans to become a citizen. He graduated from Louisville with a degree in biology and also attended Murray State, home of the ... Racers.

In a sprint down Boylston Street, Cherop edged Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya at the finish, winning in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 50 seconds. Cherop finished third in Boston last year.

Boston Athletic Association officials had warned runners that high temperatures were forecast and had offered deferments to next year’s race. A total of 22,426 runners started the race in Hopkinton this morning, with a little over 4,000 opting to wait until next year.

Korir called the race “very difficult,” according to the Boston Globe and said he began “singing and praying to God to help me” when he began cramping about halfway through.

Joshua Cassidy of Canada won the men's wheelchair race in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 25 seconds — the fastest time in history. As with the elite women’s race, the women’s wheelchair division came down to a spring at the finish, with Shirley Reilly of the United States edging Japan's Wakako Tsuchida.

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