Highlights from the 121st running of the Boston Marathon
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MEN'S RACE - By James O'Brien
As runners assembled in Hopkinton for the 121st running of the Boston Marathon, it was the weather as much as the competition that was the focus of greatest conjecture. As the elite men toed the starting line, the mercury in Hopkinton hovered close to 65F with hardly a cloud in the sky.
Yet the warm temperatures did not deter Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui, who stormed to victory in 2:09:37 in his Boston Marathon debut. American Galen Rupp was second in 2:09:58, followed by teammate Suguru Osako of Japan in third (2:10:28).
Through the opening 10K in 30:26, raucous crowds were out in full force spurring the elites on as they clicked off mile after mile. All the main contenders were content working together, saving energy for the hills and anticipated heat to come. The pack had stayed close all the way through Wellesley, passing halfway in 1:04:35.
WOMEN'S RACE - By Barbara Huebner
Three days before the 121st Boston Marathon, Edna Kiplagat’s plan was to make a move in the last 5K of the race, not before.
Plans change. With a little more than 10K to go, the 37-year-old two-time IAAF World Champion was feeling good, so she threw in a 5:02 mile in the midst of the Newton Hills.
“I tried to work extra hard,” she said of the monster surge. “It worked for me.”
Indeed it did: her rivals had no answer, and Kiplagat, running Boston for the first time in a long and glorious career that has included Abbott World Marathon Majors wins in New York City (2010) and London (2014), went on to victory in 2:21:52. It was the fourth-fastest winning time in the history of the women’s race.
Finishing second was Rose Chelimo, 27, of Bahrain, in 2:22:51, with 25-year-old Jordan Hasay a game-changing third in 2:23:00—the fastest-ever debut by an American woman, obliterating the previous mark of 2:25:53 set by Kara Goucher at the New York City Marathon in 2008.
“My goal was to run a 2:25 exactly,” said Hasay, who is coached by Alberto Salazar, the 1982 Boston champion. “So, I kind of exceeded those expectations. But definitely, I wanted to get that fastest debut time. I’m thrilled to have put it all together.”
PUSH RIM WHEELCHAIR RACES - By Jean Cann
A tailwind and warm, dry weather, along with a world-class field, helped set the stage for fast times in the push rim wheelchair division at the 121st Boston Marathon. Swiss athletes stole the show with course records and world best times in both the men’s and women’s races. Marcel Hug took the men’s title in 1:18:04, 21 seconds faster than the previous course record and world best set by Canadian Joshua Cassidy in 2012. Manuela Schar shattered the 2011 course record set by five-time Boston victor Wakako Tsuchida by more than five minutes, crossing the line in 1:28:17. While Hug shared the limelight with co-star Ernst Van Dyk, who finished second in the same time as Hug, Schar was literally the leading lady for the duration.