Eritrean-American Meb Keflezighi has become the first American in decades to win the Boston Marathon, in the first running of the annual event since last year's deadly bombing that killed three and injured hundreds.

Pumping his fist in exhilaration, Keflezighi crossed the finish line with a time of two hours, eight minutes, and 37 seconds. He defeated Kenyan Wilson Chebet by 11 seconds.

No American runner has won since 1985, and an American man has not won since 1983.

Kenyan Rita Jeptoo won the women's race for the third time, with a record-breaking time of two hours, 18 minutes, and 57 seconds. Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba finished in second place, just over a minute later.

This year's race included an expanded field of runners -- some 36,000 people, up from 27,000 in 2013.

The men's field included five of the top six finishers from last year.

Several thousand runners who started last year's race but were not able to finish were also invited back.

Scott Kennedy, who did not run Boston last year, was one of many who talked Sunday about what Monday's race means to everyone taking part.

"Just to show the terrorists that they can't win. I saw a picture a few weeks ago that said 'we need to take our finish line back' and that's what I think that 36,000 people are going to do tomorrow - is take the finish line back."

Two bombs exploded near the marathon finish line last year, killing three people and wounding more than 260 others.

Authorities say ethnic Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev set off the bombs. The blast set off a manhunt that ended with Tamerlan killed in a shootout with police and Dzhokhar being arrested in a Boston suburb.

Dzhokhar is to go on trial in November on 30 federal charges that could lead to the death penalty if he is convicted.

Organizers boosted security, with cameras installed along the route along with thousands of police and hundreds of National Guard troops.