BOSTON (CBS) – The 2019 Boston Marathon winners took center stage once again on Tuesday, receiving their prize money and talking about the challenges of this year’s race.
Complete Coverage: 2019 Boston Marathon
Manuela Schar took home the women’s wheelchair division title, one year after she was forced to drop out of the race.
“It was really difficult to make all the decisions before the start because we didn’t know what to expect weather-wise,” said Schar, who admitted that when she crossed the spot she dropped out one year ago, it did cross her mind. “I’m really happy that I made all the right decisions and I’m really happy to be back here.”
Schar will next participate in the London Marathon in two weeks.
Daniel Romanchuk became the first American to win the men’s wheelchair division since 1993. The 20-year-old wasn’t born yet when Jim Knaub won Boston that year.
“I’m very excited to bring the Boston Marathon win back to the States. It’s a very humbling experience,” he said.
The women’s race was never in doubt. Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia outpaced the competition, ran most of the marathon by herself and finished with a time of 2:23:31.
“After we ran the 4-mile mark, the pace was too slow. I decided to take off. I turned around my head, no one behind me,” Degefa said Tuesday, adding just how much it meant to her to win the signature race.
“Winning the Boston Marathon will remain until I die. This is a big deal winning the Boston Marathon. Winning Boston again, it means a lot to me.”
One of the closest finishes in Boston Marathon history took place Monday during the men’s race. Lawrence Cherono of Kenya barely edged out Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia thanks to a dramatic final sprint.
“When I was finishing, I was very tired,” Cherono said. “I’ve never run a race like this.”
The men’s and women’s winners received $150,000 in prize money apiece, while each wheelchair division winner is awarded $25,000.
BAA officials say this marathon was unpredictable. Lightning, rain, and both hot and cold temperatures made it tough on both the runners and the volunteers. A total of 106 people had to be hospitalized.
“We had to make a bunch of weather related changes at the last minute,” Race Director Dave McGillivray said. “Delays in transportation, sheltering of volunteers, merging waves at the start, signage adjustments throughout the entire course.”
Thirteen people were hospitalized overnight, but they are expected to be OK.