Local women race in Boston Marathon

Submitted Photo

Submitted Photo

Two local women ran in the 115th annual Boston Marathon on Monday, where the fastest 26.2 miles ever ran was clocked.

Carson City's Michelle Avitia and Nicole Johnston of Genoa finished in 3:43:54 and 3:43:52, respectively.

"It was amazing and rough and tough and brutal," Johnston said in a telephone call from Boston after the race. "Everything a marathon is supposed to be."

The two ran the California International Marathon in December 2009 to qualify. Because the Boston Marathon had sold out for 2010, their finishing times qualified them for this year's race.

They trained together beginning again in January, logging 16-22 miles and every weekend.

Having a partner, Avitia said, made all the difference.

"It made the whole race for me," she said.

The women set a goal to run under four hours, which they met despite warmer and more humid conditions than they are used to running in.

They've both run a handful of marathons, but this one stood out.

"This really was the most amazing race I will ever do in my entire life," Johnston said. "There was literally no stretch of road that didn't have people lined up cheering you on."

Johnston will return to Nevada today. Avitia plans to fly home Wednesday. She and her husband will spend today touring American history along the Freedom Trail, while also working out the stiffness from Monday's run.

"It's actually really good for your muscles to walk afterward," Avitia explained.

Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai won the Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds - the fastest anyone has ever run the 26.2 mile distance.

The previous best of 2:03:59 was by Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin 2008. Because Monday's race had a strong tailwind on a downhill course, Mutai's run is not recognized by track's international governing body as a record.

But Mutai was almost three minutes better than the course record set just last year by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot.

Caroline Kilel won the women's race to complete the Kenyan sweep, outsprinting American Desiree Davila to win by two seconds, in 2:22:36. Davila led as late as the final stretch on Boylston Street and ran the fastest time ever for a U.S. woman, five seconds faster than Joan Benoit finished to win in 1983.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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