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Boston Marathon History: 2011-Present

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Men's winner, Geoffrey Mutai, from Kenya, ran the world's fastest marathon in 2:03:02. Moses Mosop finished his debut in the marathon distance in a time of 2:03:06, the next fastest time in marathon history. Caroline Kilel, of Kenya, and Desiree Davila, of the United States, exchanged surges on Boylston Street with Kilel emerging as the winner by two seconds, with a time of 2:22:36. Now, over the previous four years, the women’s race has been decided by a combined eight seconds. Wakako Tsuchida of Japan won her fifth consecutive title in the women’s wheelchair division with her world’s fastest performance of 1:34:06. Her time beat Jean Driscoll’s mark of 1:34:22, which she established in 1994. Masazumi Soejima won his second Boston Marathon in a time of 1:18:50, finishing one second better than Australian Kurt Fearnley and Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa, who finished second and third, respectively. Sponsored by John Hancock Financial, more than $806,000 in prize money was awarded by the B.A.A. to the top finishers. In addition to their first place prize money earnings, men’s champion, Geoffrey Mutai and women’s wheelchair division champion, Wakako Tsuchida received a combined $92,500 in bonus awards for their respective world’s fastest performances. The 24 Boston Marathon Official Charities, through runners in the 115th Boston Marathon, combined to raise more than $10.2 million. Together with principal sponsor John Hancock Financial’s Non-Profit bib program, the total amount of funds raised was $15.5 million.


To go along with the theme of the day, the 116th running of the Boston Marathon was certainly a hotly contested battle between some of Kenya’s best. In the men’s race, it came down to the last few miles, with Wesley Korir pulling away from Levy Matebo to win in 2:12:40 to 2:13:06; the fourth slowest winning time in the past 35 years. The women’s race was not to be outdone in last gasp moments as well, with Kenya’s Sharon Cherop bursting ahead just after the turn onto Boylston Street to take home the victory in 2:31:50; the seventh slowest time in the past 35 years. Second place went to Kenya’s Jemima Jelagat Sumgong in 2:31:52. In the last five years, the women’s race has been decided by a combined time of ten seconds. The heat did not slow everyone down, as Canada’s Joshua Cassidy not only dominated the wheelchair competition, but also broke Ernst Van Dyk’s course record with a time of 1:18:25. Australian Kurt Fearnly had to once again settle for runner-up placing with his time of 1:21:39. The women’s wheelchair race was similar to the women’s open race, with Arizona’s Shirley Reilly just outlasting defending champion Wakako Tsuchida, 1:37:36 to 1:37:37. Through John Hancock Financial’s sponsorship for the 27th year, more than $813,000 in prize money was awarded by the B.A.A. to the top finishers, including the course record bonus presented to Joshua Cassidy. The Boston Marathon Charity Program, now in its 24th year of enabling selected charitable organizations to raise millions of dollars for worthwhile causes, together with the 31 current participating charities, raised more than $11 million.


It was a glorious day to run, with temperatures in the 50s and minimal winds. The men’s field chose to approach the first half of the race more tactically than the conditions offered. However, it was Kenya’s Micah Kogo, Ethiopia’s Gebre Gebremariam, and his countryman Lelisa Desisa who eventually emerged as contenders. Gebremariam tried to make a break in the final mile, but Desisa was more than ready. He accelerated into an overdrive that his combatants simply could not match. At the line, the time of 2:10:22 was reflective of the early cautionary tactics; but, it also revealed a dominating five second margin over the second placed Kogo and six over Gebremariam in third. On the women’s side, several newcomers to Boston took a chance to run away with the race in the early miles. But it was a familiar face that ultimately came out on top. Returning to the site of her 2006 victory, Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo turned onto the final stretch with a comfortable lead. Jeptoo’s winning time of 2:26:25 was 33 seconds ahead of runner-up Meseret Hailu of Ethiopia. 2012 champion Sharon Cherop (KEN) was third, in 2:27:01. The men’s wheelchair was one for the ages, as Japan’s Hiroyuki Yamamoto won over nine-time champion Ernst Van Dyk (RSA), 1:25:32 to 1:27:12. Yamamoto, 46, became the oldest champion in Boston Marathon history. On the women’s side, Tatyana McFadden (USA) slowly pulled away from Sandra Graf (SUI) on the hills in Newton, breaking the tape at 1:45:25. Graf finished second in 1:46:54. Through John Hancock Financial’s sponsorship for the 28th year, more than $805,000 in prize money was awarded by the B.A.A. to the top finishers.


"Boston Strong. Meb Strong." With those words resounding in his head through the closing miles, Mebrahtom Keflezighi won the 118th Boston Marathon, becoming the first American man to do so since Greg Meyer in 1983. There was an ironic beauty in the fact that, on race morning, Meyer was among those who wished Meb well. He told me, "You can do it," the newly crowned winner explained. "Make it happen." Meb made it happen in a way that was surprising, bewildering, and inspiring. From the gun, he surged to the front of the pack; early on, he forged a demonstrative lead; and, in the closing miles he weathered a super-charged surge from Wilson Chebet that almost spoiled the American’s dreams. But, at the line, the dream remained intact. Keflezighi, just two weeks shy of his 39th birthday, had turned back an armada of sub-2:06 thoroughbreds to take one of the sporting world’s most prestigious titles. "I don't have a 2:04, 2:05," Keflezighi proffered with a smile, "but I've got the Boston Marathon title." READ MORE

When hometown favorite Shalane Flanagan took the first mile of the 118th Boston Marathon out in 5:11, defending champion Rita Jeptoo thought she was in a world of trouble. “My body was not responding well,” said the 33-year-old Kenyan, who was chasing her third victory here after wins in 2006 and 2013. “Today was like fire when we were starting. I was like somebody not ready to run this pace.” Instead, it turned out that she was just in another world. Around the 25-kilometer mark (15.5 miles), the woman ranked #2 in the world last year began to feel better. A lot better. By Mile 23, Jeptoo was in the lead, then promptly blistered a 4:48 mile—faster than all but three in the men’s race—to win in 2:18:57, shattering the course record of 2:20:43 set by Kenya’s Margaret Okayo in 2002. READ MORE

In the second largest, and perhaps fastest push-rim wheelchair field ever assembled for the Boston Marathon, Ernst Van Dyk (RSA) and Tatyana McFadden (USA) won the men’s and women’s titles at the 118th B.A.A. Boston Marathon. Capturing an unprecedented 10th Boston Marathon title, Van Dyk led from wire-to-wire. McFadden celebrated her 25th birthday by defending her title in the women’s race, just eight days after winning and breaking her own course record at the London Marathon. READ MORE

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B.A.A. Moment 2

1935 John A. Kelley

Born in West Medford, Massachusetts as one of ten children, Kelley ran track and cross-country at Arlington High School in Massachusetts. He did not finish his first Boston Marathon in 1928, but eventually competed in a record 61 Boston Marathons. A legend of the marathon, Kelley won the 1935 and 1945 runnings of the Boston Marathon. He finished in second place at Boston a record seven times. Between 1934 to 1950, he finished in the top five 15 times at Boston, consistently running in the 2:30s. He ran his last full marathon at Boston in 1992 at the age of 84, his 61st start and 58th finish there.