Lelisa Desisa: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Lelisa Desisa won the men's elite division of the 2015 Boston Marathon. (Getty)

Lelisa Desisa won the men’s elite division of the 2015 Boston Marathon. (Getty)

Lelisa Desisa put on a show Monday for the cheering fans who lined the damp streets for the Boston Marathon.

With a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 17 seconds, Desisa captured the men’s elite title in the 119th running of the historic race.

Desisa has been running since a teenager in Africa and is no stranger to crossing the finish line first.

Here’s what you need to know about Desisa:


1. Desisa Won the 2013 Boston Marathon

Watch: Lelisa Desisa Wins Men's Boston MarathonLelisa Desisa, who won before the bombings in 2013, was crowned champion again in 2015.2015-04-20T16:44:40.000Z

Desisa won the 2013 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:10:22.

Desisa was not hurt in the bombings that occurred after his victory. Three people were killed and over 200 others injured.

Boston Marathon Explosions: Terror at the Finish LineAt least three people were killed and 130 wounded in two bomb blasts during the race. *More: http://abcn.ws/boston_20132013-04-16T06:22:22.000Z


2. He’s 25 & From Ethiopia

Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopa crosses the finish line to win the men's elite race. (Getty)

Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopa crosses the finish line to win the men’s elite race. (Getty)

Desisa, 25, was born January 25, 1990, in Shewa, a province of Ethiopia.

He has been running competitively since he was a teenager and made his professional breakthrough at road races in 2010. Desisa had a 3rd-place finish at the Zayed International Half Marathon that year.



3. Desisa Won His Debut Marathon at Dubai in 2013

(Getty)

(Getty)

Desisa made his 26-mile debut at the 2013 Dubai Marathon and blistered the competition with a time of 2:04:45, which was one of the fastest times for a first marathon ever.

Three months later, Desisa won his first Boston race.

Other medals for Desisa include a silver at the 2013 World Championships in the Moscow Marathon and a gold
in the 2011 All-Africa Games in a half-marathon.



4. He Was an Olympic Reserve in 2012

(Getty)

(Getty)

As a result of running a personal best time of 27:18.17 to win the 10,000 metres in Liège, Desisa was selected to be an Ethiopian Olympic team reserve.

He never participated in any events for his country in the 2012 London games, though.



5. Desisa Won His 1st Gold at the 2009 Africa Junior Games

(Getty)

(Getty)

Desisa won his first international medal at the 2009 African Junior Athletics Championships, when he took the gold in the 10,000 meters.

The following year he placed second in the Paris Half-Marathon.

His personal-best times are listed below:

3000 meters – 8:33.72 min (2009)
5000 meters – 13:22.91 min (2012)
10,000 meters – 27:18.17 min (2012)
10 km (road) – 27:57 min (2010)
Half marathon – 59:30 min (2011)
Marathon – 2:04:45 min (2013)