BOSTON (CBS) – Hilary Dionne said the 119th Boston Marathon wasn’t her best marathon time, but it was her most memorable finish. She said she knew Meb Keflezighi was close, from the announcements at the finish, but she was surprised as anyone by what happened next.
It became the moment of the 2015 Boston Marathon.
“I didn’t expect him to be that close and grab my hand,” said Dionne.
Keflezighi, last year’s Boston Marathon champ, grabbed her hand and raised it as they crossed the finish line together. “People have asked what was going through my head, and really nothing it was such a quick split second thing that happened,” said Dionne.
Dionne runs as an elite athlete with the BAA. During that last stretch of the race, she was focused.
“At that point, I was really just trying to pick it up, if I could, and think about my form knowing how many people are watching,” said Dionne.
She had no idea how many people really were watching and would replay her finish. The elite women start the marathon 28 minutes before the men, which is how Keflezighi caught her, though he did admit he sprinted at the end to cross the line with her.
“The beauty of the sport is sportsmanship and to be able to help her get to the finish line is an amazing experience,” said Keflezighi.
Dionne said she doesn’t know Keflezighi personally and his sportsmanship impressed her.
“He’s selfless too. It was less about his race and more about getting everyone excited,” said Dionne.
While she admitted the buzz is overwhelming, that moment completed the race.
“I think it’s fitting he won last year, and I am from Boston,” said Dionne.
Dionne was the 4th American woman to finish and was the 15th woman overall.