BOSTON -- Desiree Davila's legs just didn't have another push left in them.
Davila led a thrilling finish in the women's Boston Marathon on Monday. The American runner held the lead in the closing miles, lost it and then pushed back to the front several times before she ran out of surges just before the finish line.
Davila finished second to Kenya's Caroline Kilel (2:22.36), whose long strides down Boylston Street finally decided the dramatic back-and-forth battle at the end of the 26.2 mile race.
"My legs were just shot," Davila said. "That was all I had, and she was just better."
Although she failed by just a few seconds to become the first American to win the event since 1985, Davila did run the fastest time by a U.S. woman through the historic streets of Boston and some of its surrounding communities. Davila finished in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 38 seconds -- five seconds faster than Joan Benoit finished when she won the race in 1983.
Now Joan Samuelson, the two-time Boston winner wasn't able to witness Davila's accomplishment because Samuelson was still on the course, which she finished in 2:51:29.
"She's put America back on the boards bigtime," Samuelson said. "That was a great front race -- from what I gather up front. I'm sort of sorry I wasn't in the stands watching the race unfold."
Davila, who was still a few months shy of being born when Samuelson won it 28 years ago, wasn't even considered an American favorite entering the race.
Kara Goucher, who finished third in 2009 and missed last year's marathon because she was pregnant, finished fifth in this year's race.
"Desi went by me and encouraged me to keep my eyes up, and it was like I was standing still," Goucher said.