'Breakthrough day' as Cheruiyot sets record

Robert Cheruiyot (left) and Teyba Erkesso were the overall winners at Monday's 114th running of the Boston Marathon.

Elise Amendola

BOSTON -- Let him be known from Hopkinton to the Back Bay as "Robert the Younger" -- the second Kenyan named Robert K. Cheruiyot to win the Boston Marathon and the first person ever to run the legendary course in under 2 hours, 6 minutes.

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot won the 114th Boston race Monday, finishing in 2:05:52 to shatter by 82 seconds the course record set by four-time winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, who's not related. American Ryan Hall, who finished third last year, missed another spot on the podium by 2 seconds, but his time of 2:08:41 was the fastest ever for U.S. runner in Boston.

"Today was a breakthrough day," said Hall, who was 6 seconds faster than Bob Kempainen in 1994. "Guys are paving new territory, and that's good for us, too."

Ethiopia's Teyba Erkesso took the women's title in 2:26:11, sprinting to the tape to win by 3 seconds in the event's third-closest women's finish. Russia's Tatyana Pushkareva smiled and waved at the TV cameras as she closed what had been a 90-second gap, but she could not quite catch Erkesso.

Cheruiyot, 21, surpassed the course record of 2:07:14 set by his namesake in 2006, when he was 27. A farmer back home, the younger Cheruiyot earned a bonus of $25,000 on top of the $150,000 -- and a golden olive wreath from the city of Marathon, Greece -- that goes the men's and women's winners.

"I am going to buy some cows," Cheruiyot said.

Cheruiyot finished 91 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Tekeste Kebede to give Kenya its 18th men's victory in 20 years. Defending champion Deriba Merga was third and Hall and fellow American Meb Keflezighi, the winner in New York last fall, rounded out the top five; no American has won the men's race since Greg Meyer in 1983.

Erkesso opened a lead of more than 90 seconds and held on, grabbing her side during the the last four miles. Defending champion Salina Kosgei was third, and Paige Higgins of Flagstaff, Ariz., was the top American woman in 13th.