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Boston Marathon History: 2001-2005

 

105th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 16, 2001

After an unprecedented 10 consecutive victories by Kenyans in the men’s race, Lee Bong-Ju of Korea halted the streak with his spectacular win at the 105th race. Lee finished 24 seconds ahead of Silvio Guerra of Ecuador. Kenyan Joshua Chelang’a rounded out the trio battling for the win over the final miles. Bong-Ju, the Olympic silver medalist at Atlanta, ran with a heavy heart but with inspiration to honor his recently departed father. American men made a resurgence as Rod DeHaven of Wisconsin captured sixth place with a personal-best time, California’s Josh Cox finished in 14th place, and Massachusetts native Mark Coogan crossed the finish line in 19th place. In the women’s race, Kenyan Catherine Ndereba’s runaway win was her second straight victory at Boston, and her time was the seventh-fastest in race history. Ndereba battled and surpassed three-time champion Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia (1997–99) over the Newton hills. In nearly perfect weather conditions (in the mid-50s with no tailwind) Winchester native Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to have completed the Boston Marathon (1966), fought through her bronchitis to finish on the 35th anniversary of her pioneering run.

Men's Top Results

1. Lee Bong-Ju (30, KOR) 2:09:43
2. Silvio Guerra (32, ECU) 2:10:07
3. Joshua Chelang’a (28, KEN) 2:10:29
4. David Kiptum Busienei (26, KEN) 2:11:47
5. Mbarak Hussein (36, KEN) 2:12:01
6. Rod DeHaven (34, WI) 2:12:41
7. Laban Nkete (30, RSA) 2:12:44
8. Fedor V. Ryzhov (41, RUS) 2:13:54
9. Makhosonke Fika (29, RSA) 2:14:13
10. Timothy Cherigat (24, KEN) 2:14:21

Women's Top Results

1. Catherine Ndereba (28, KEN) 2:23:53
2. Malgorzata Sobanska (31, POL) 2:26:42
3. Lyubov Morgunova (30, RUS) 2:27:18
4. Lornah Kiplagat (26, KEN) 2:27:56
5. Fatuma Roba (27, ETH) 2:28:08
6. Irina Timofeyeva (31, RUS) 2:28:50
7. Ludmila Petrova (32, RUS) 2:29:23
8. Wei Yanan (20, CHN) 2:29:52
9. Bruna Genovese (24, ITA) 2:30:39
10. Kaori Tanabe (25, JPN) 2:31:31

 

106th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 15, 2002

In his Boston debut, Rodgers Rop from Kenya reclaimed the men’s title for his country with his winning time of 2:09:02. Rop led a 1-2-3-4 finish of Kenyan men, with countryman Christopher Cheboiboch finishing just three seconds back for second place. Women’s winner Margaret Okayo of Kenya set a course record of 2:20:43, eclipsing Uta Pippig’s 1994 record-setting run of 2:21:45 by more than one minute. Amid a heavy mist that limited visibility and in humid conditions (96% humidity, 57 degrees), Okayo also defeated defending champion and world-record holder Catherine Ndereba in their eagerly anticipated first marathon match-up. Ndereba finished second in 2:21:12. Keith Dowling of Virginia was the first American finisher (15th overall) in a personal best time of 2:13:28. Massachusetts native Jill Gaitenby was the top American woman for the second consecutive year (2:38:55, 13th woman). In the women’s masters race, Firaya Sultanova-Zhdanova of Russia broke the 14-year-old course record set by Priscilla Welch (2:30:48) by two minutes, 50 seconds with her 2:27:58 victory over the defending masters champion, Denmark’s Gitte Karlshoj. It was the fastest marathon by a female masters runner on U.S. soil (U.S. all-comers record). On the men’s side, Kenyan Joshua Kipkemboi reclaimed the masters title from rival Fedor V. Ryzhov of Russia, finishing in 2:12:48. With 16,936 entrants, the 2002 race was a compelling commemoration of Patriots’ Day as runners and spectators alike demonstrated their patriotism along the route and in special pre-race ceremonies.

Men's Top Results

1. Rodgers Rop (26, KEN) 2:09:02
2. Christopher Cheboiboch (25, KEN) 2:09:05
3. Fred Kiprop (28, KEN) 2:09:45
4. Mbarak Hussein (37, KEN) 2:09:45
5. Lee Bong-Ju (31, KOR) 2:10:30
6. Elias Chebet (28, KEN) 2:10:40
7. Simon Bor (33, KEN) 2:11:39
8. Getachew Kebede (19, ETH) 2:11:39
9. Luis Fonseca (25, VEN) 2:11:49
10. Silvio Guerra (33, ECU) 2:12:28

Women's Top Results

1. Margaret Okayo (25, KEN) 2:20:43*
2. Catherine Ndereba (29, KEN) 2:21:12
3. Elfenesh Alemu (25, ETH) 2:26:01
4. Sun Yingjie (23, CHN) 2:27:26
5. Firaya Sultanova-Zhdanova (40, RUS) 2:27:58^
6. Bruna Genovese (25, ITA) 2:29:02
7. Nuta Olaru (31, ROU) 2:30:26
8. Mai Tagami (22, JPN) 2:32:00
9. Gitte Karlshoj (42, DEN) 2:35:01
10. Yukari Komatsu (28, JPN) 2:35:34

 

107th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 21, 2003

Kenyan dominance was the story of the day in the men’s race, with Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot emerging as the winner in 2:10:11. All except one of the top 10 men were from Kenya, and defending champion Rodgers Rop was seventh. The winner in the 40-and-older division was Russia’s 43-year-old Fedor Ryzhov, who was sixth overall in a time of 2:15:29, which was the highest place by an over-40 runner since New Zealand’s John Campbell finished fourth in 1990 with a time of 2:11:04. Svetlana Zakharova, the 32-year-old Russian national record-holder, survived an early cat-and-mouse game with Kenyan Margaret Okayo, the Boston Marathon course record-holder, to pull away in the Newton hills, winning in 2:25:20. Three American women finished in the top 10 here for the first time since 1993, and were led by Marla Runyan of Oregon (fifth; 2:30:28). The commemoration of Patriots’ Day was visible throughout race day and along the route, including a fly-over of two F-15s prior to the race start; a patriotic, red-white-and-blue design of the start and finish lines; large American flags on display throughout the start area, on the course, and at the finish; and a display of U.S. Armed Forces flags at the finish line. For the first time since 1990 (13 years), the B.A.A. adjusted the qualifying standards, which affected runners 45 years of age and older and reflected a desire and an ability to accommodate more participants.

Men's Top Results 

1. Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (24, KEN) 2:10:11
2. Benjamin Kosgei Kimutai (32, KEN) 2:10:34
3. Martin Lel (24, KEN) 2:11:11
4. Timothy Cherigat (26, KEN) 2:11:28
5. Christopher Cheboiboch (26, KEN) 2:12:45
6. Fedor V. Ryzhov (43, RUS) 2:15:29
7. Rodgers Rop (27, KEN). 2:16:14
8. David Kiptum Busienei (28, KEN) 2:16:16
9. Elly Rono (32, KEN) 2:17:00
10. Laban Kipkemboi (25, KEN) 2:17:50

Women's Top Results

1. Svetlana Zakharova (32, RUS) 2:25:20
2. Lyubov Denisova (31, RUS) 2:26:51
3. Joyce Chepchumba (32, KEN) 2:27:20
4. Margaret Okayo (26, KEN) 2:27:39
5. Marla Runyan (34, OR) 2:30:28
6. Albina Ivanova (25, RUS) 2:30:57
7. Firaya Sultanova-Zhdanova (41, RUS) 2:31:30
8. Milena Glusac (27, CA) 2:37:32
9. Jill Gaitenby (36, RI) 2:38:19
10. Esther Kiplagat (36, KEN) 2:38:43

 

108th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 19, 2004

In the most significant change to the women’s race since females were officially permitted to compete (1972) and prize money was instituted (1986), the top 35 entrants began in Boston’s first elite women’s start at 11:31 a.m., 29 minutes prior to the noon start. The new format was marked by a duel for the ages as defending world champion Catherine Ndereba, of Kenya, chased Ethiopian Elfenesh Alemu for the first 16 miles before pulling away for good with exactly one mile to go. Ndereba’s third victory and 16-second margin over Alemu tied the closest winner/runner-up finish in women’s race history. Timothy Cherigat, of Kenya, pulled three other countrymen up and over Heartbreak Hill before breaking loose on the famous landmark’s downslope. The fourth-place finisher from the previous year, Cherigat added to his homeland’s dominance of the men’s race since 1988, becoming the ninth different Kenyan male to win. Since 1988, Kenyans have won 14 of 17 men’s division championships. At 45 years old, Joshua Kipkemboi won the masters division for the third time and became the oldest champion since the division was formalized in 1975. Ramilia Burangulova was victorious among female masters, marking the third consecutive victory by a Russian and the third consecutive year that the masters champion also finished among the top 10 overall. The weather - with the temperature at 83 degrees at the start and 86 by mid-afternoon at the finish - was the other major story. Despite a record number of runners treated for heat-related illnesses, 93 percent of the field finished (20,404 entrants; 18,003 starters; 16,783 finishers). While it was the hottest Patriots’ Day since 1976, an accurate long-range forecast gave participants and race management ample time to adjust their game day plans.

Men's Top Results

1. Timothy Cherigat (27, KEN) 2:10:37
2. Robert Cheboror (25, KEN) 2:11:49
3. Martin Lel (25, KEN) 2:13:38
4. Stephen Kiogora (29, KEN) 2:14:34
5. Hailu Negussie (24, ETH) 2:17:30
6. Benjamin Kosgei Kimutai (33, KEN) 2:17:45
7. Joshua Kipkemboi (45, KEN) 2:18:23
8. Andrew Letherby (30, AUS) 2:19:31
9. Fedor V. Ryzhov (44, RUS) 2:21:24
10. Elly Rono (33, KEN) 2:22:45

Women's Top Results

1. Catherine Ndereba (31, KEN) 2:24:27
2. Elfenesh Alemu (27, ETH) 2:24:43
3. Olivera Jevtic (26, SCG) 2:27:34
4. Jelena Prokopcuka (27, LAT) 2:30:16
5. Nuta Olaru (33, ROU) 2:30:44
6. Lyubov Denisova (32, RUS) 2:31:17
7. Malgorzata Sobanska (34, POL) 2:32:23
8. Victoria Klimina (28, RUS) 2:33:20
9. Ramilia Burangulova (42, RUS) 2:34:08
10. Ai Yamamoto (25, JPN) 2:34:32

 

109th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 18, 2005

In a rematch, Catherine Ndereba won an unprecedented fourth women’s race, pulling away from runner-up Elfenesh Alemu in the final miles to triumph in 2:25:13 and nearly two minutes ahead of her Ethiopian challenger. Ndereba trailed by as much as 1:20 by 20-kilometers, but began her comeback and picked up those 80 seconds over the next seven miles, catching Alemu at the crest of Heartbreak Hill. Meanwhile, an unheralded Hailu Negussie outlasted the field, capturing Ethiopia’s first men’s open title in 16 years. Negussie pushed the pack - including 2004 champion Timothy Cherigat and 2003 champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot - through 35 kilometers and eventually won the battle of attrition in 2:11:45 on another warm day (70 degrees Fahrenheit at the start; 69 degrees at the finish). American Alan Culpepper was fourth in 2:13:39, which was the highest U.S. showing since 1987. Also of note, the field of finishers was the second-largest in event history (17,564), and a marathon for U.S. soldiers was held concurrently in Iraq in celebration of Patriots’ Day.

Men's Top Results

1. Hailu Negussie (25, ETH) 2:11:45
2. Wilson Onsare (28, KEN) 2:12:21
3. Benson Cherono (20, KEN) 2:12:48
4. Alan Culpepper (32, CO) 2:13:39
5. Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (26, KEN) 2:14:30
6. Timothy Cherigat (28, KEN) 2:15:19
7. Benjamin Kipchumba (29, KEN) 2:15:26
8. Andrew Letherby (31, AUS) 2:16:38
9. Mohamed Quaadi (36, FRA) 2:16:41
10. Peter Gilmore (27, CA) 2:17:32

Women's Top Results

1. Catherine Ndereba (32, KEN) 2:25:13
2. Elfenesh Alemu (28, ETH) 2:27:03
3. Bruna Genovese (28, ITA) 2:29:51
4. Svetlana Zakharova (34, RUS) 2:31:34
5. Madina Biktagirova (40, RUS) 2:32:41
6. Lyubov Morgunova (34, RUS). 2:33:24
7. Shitaye Gemechu (25, ETH) 2:33:51
8. Zhor El Kamch (32, MAR) 2:36:54
9. Mina Ogawa (30, JPN) 2:37:34
10. Nuta Olaru (34, ROU) 2:37:37

 

*Course Record
^Masters Course Record

 

B.A.A. Moment 3

1966 - Bobbi Gibb

Although not an official entrant, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Joining the starting field shortly after the gun had been fired, Gibb finished the race in 3:21:40 to place 126th overall. Gibb again claimed the “unofficial” title in 1967 and 1968.