BOSTON — Sheri Piers has sniffed the top 10 at the Boston Marathon numerous times over the years, finishing as high as 11th in the grueling race.
The Falmouth runner made her home state and country proud as the first American woman to cross the finish line in Copley Square while finishing 10th overall in the women’s field, completing the 26.2-mile journey from Hopkinton in 2 hours, 41 minutes, 55 seconds on a hot Patriots Day where temperatures climbed into the 80s.
Overall, the women’s race featured a dramatic two-horse duel between Sharon Cherop and Jemima Jelagat Sumgong, both of Kenya, who were dead even through 35 kilometers.
In the end, it was Cherop who wound up prevailing, pulling away down Boylston Street in 2:31:50 while Sumgong checked in at 2:31:52.
The last five women’s races at Boston have been decided by eight seconds or less, and the top two women shared an embrace after crossing the finish line.
The men’s race was just as dramatic, with Wesley Korir of Kenya pulling away down the stretch and breaking the tape in 2:12:40. Levy Matebo, also of Kenya, came in second in 2:13:06.
Piers’ previous best Boston finish came in 2009, when she finished 11th overall in 2:37:04. She competed in the U.S. Olympic trials in Houston earlier this year, finishing 24th out of 152 runners.
Correction: This story initially identified Sheri Piers as the first American woman to cross the finish line, but was later updated to identify her as the first American-born woman to cross the finish line because of confusion over the citizenship of one of the runners. Piers was in fact the first American woman