Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon on Monday, becoming the first American man to win the race since 1983.
"At the end, I just kept thinking, 'Boston Strong. Boston Strong,'" Keflezighi said, according to The Associated Press.
"I was thinking give everything you have. If you get beat, that's it."
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The emotional event marked the first anniversary of the marathon bombing that killed three and injured 260. Keflezighi wore the names of last year’s bombing victims on his bib.
At the finish line, Keflezighi broke into tears.
"When the bomb exploded, every day since I've wanted to come back and win it," he said, according to USA Today
Security was tight at the marathon, with more than 3,500 police officers and 800 National Guard soldiers and airmen along the course.
Keflezighi, 38, won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics and won the New York City marathon in 2009. He was born in the African nation Eritrea and moved to the United States at age 12.
Twitter users shared words of celebration and congratulations.
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