Runners set records in peaceful BAA half-marathon

Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia reacted after crossing the finish line to win the men's division.
Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe
Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia reacted after crossing the finish line to win the men's division.

Six months after homemade bombs brought death and mayhem to the Boston Athletic Association’s signature event, the Boston Marathon, the group’s annual BAA Half Marathon event Sunday was peaceful and orderly.

A spokeswoman for Boston police said the event went smoothly, with “no alarming situations.”

“I haven’t had any reports of anything,” said Officer Neva Coakley, the police spokeswoman. “It’s been really quiet.”


The police presence at the event was not expanded following the April bombings that killed three and injured more than 260, Coakley said, but was the same as at “any other large event that we manage.” Police, including a K9 unit, were visible at the race.

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A spokesman for the athletic association said the group does not publicly discuss security plans but was satisfied that its measures were sufficient.

Sunday morning was sunny but cool, with temperatures in the 50s, according to the National Weather Service.

The conditions appeared to have benefited the runners, who ran a 13.1-mile route that began and ended at Franklin Park, winding its way north along the Emerald Necklace toward the Fenway before doubling back through Mission Hill and Jamaica Plain.

The winner of the men’s race, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, set a record that cut one minute and 10 seconds off the previous time, set just last year.


Desisa also won the Boston Marathon in the spring, completing his run hours before the bombs went off. He returned to Boston in June for the BAA’s annual 10-kilometer race, where he placed second and presented his Marathon medal to the citizens of Boston.

The 10-kilometer race also occurred without incident.

Kim Smith, a Providence resident originally from New Zealand, set a record in the women’s race Sunday and claimed her second straight victory in the half-marathon. She also claimed a second straight win in the BAA’s three-race Distance Medley, which includes 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer races along with the half-marathon.

Globe correspondent Jeff Pini contributed to this report. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.