Rita Jeptoo of Kenya is the 2014 Boston Marathon winner of the women's elite race; Rita, 33, finished with a time of 2:18:57 — a new course record. Currently ranked second in the world, Rita also won last year's tragic Boston Marathon, which makes this win a full-circle journey for her. Deba Buzunesh of Ethiopia finished second with a time of 2:19:59.
Before the women's elite pack even took off from Hopkinton, it was a race that many — ourselves included — were describing as one that would be fiercely competitive. The women's pack was stacked with three past winners of the Boston Marathon and a total of nine runners who have a personal marathon best of 2:23:00 or faster. The weather didn't hurt either: perfect marathon conditions carried the pack all the way to the finish line at Bolyston Street in downtown Boston.
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From the get go, hometown favorite Shalane Flanagan got out in front to run her own race and in the process helped set a swift pace for the rest of the group. As early as the 10K mark, it looked like the seven women in the lead pack were looking to set a new Boston Marathon course record — the crowd was ready, too. The previous record has held strong since 2002 when Margaret Okayo finished with a time of 2:20:43. It wasn't until notorious Heartbreak Hill that Shalane fell behind behind to sixth place, about 13 seconds behind the lead pack. Ultimately, Shalane would finish with a time of 2:22:02, giving her a seventh-place finish. After the hills, Rita began to make her move, solidifying a large lead in front of Deba — almost by 30 seconds during the last mile. As Rita turned the last corner onto Bolyston Street, it was apparent that Rita was the winner — and the fastest woman in history — of the Boston Marathon.
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