Courtesy photos available here; credit B.A.A.
More than 6,300 participants competed in New England’s signature half marathon
BOSTON (13-Nov) – The 2022 B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, made its triumphant return to Franklin Park this morning, as more than 6,300 athletes completed the 13.1-mile race along the Emerald Necklace Park System. At the front of the field, Kenyans Geoffrey Koech and Viola Chepngeno prevailed as men’s and women’s open division champions, while Americans Daniel Romanchuk and Jenna Fesemyer set new course records in the men’s and women’s wheelchair divisions. Preliminary results can be found here.
Despite sporadic rain throughout the morning, participants covered the challenging course through Boston and Brookline with smiles and enthusiasm. Among the finishers were more than 400 athletes representing the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jimmy Fund, raising more than $450,000 to defy cancer.
With a ferocious sprint into White Stadium, Chepngeno claimed the women’s open win in 1:10:40, just three seconds in front of Ethiopia’s Bosena Mulatie. Chepngeno, Mulatie and Hiwot Gebrekidan (Ethiopia) ran a majority of the race together, but it was ultimately the B.A.A. Half Marathon debutant in Chepngeno having the best finish of all.
“I’m happy. So, so happy,” said a smiling Chepngeno. “The rain was cold. But I am happy so much!”
Gebrekidan was third in 1:11:09, with B.A.A. High Performance Team member Erika Kemp finishing as the top American, seventh in 1:12:13. Team USA Olympians Molly Huddle and Molly Seidel placed 12th (1:13:29) and 16th (1:16:22), respectively.
As a pack of a dozen runners led the men’s race through 10K, it was Koech taking the reigns at mile 9. While Tsegay Kidanu (Ethiopia), Zouhair Talbi (Marocco), and Teshome Mekonen (USA) did their best to keep close, it was Koech who stormed out of Franklin Park Zoo in front and wound up winning in 1:02:02. Kidanu and Talbi rounded out the podium in 1:02:10 and 1:02:15, while Mekonen placed fourth in 1:02:28 as the top American finisher. This was Mekonen’s first race as an American citizen.
“The race was good, I am happy in Boston,” noted Koech, who said he came into the race briming with confidence. When did he know he had victory sealed? “The last 5K, all of the twisting [turns before the finish].”
Just a week after stellar finishes at the TCS New York City Marathon, Daniel Romanchuk and Jenna Fesemyer cruised to course-record wins in the wheelchair races here. Romanchuk’s time of 50:43 took more than two minutes off the previous record, while Fesemyer became the first woman ever to crack the one-hour barrier in race history, finishing in 59:50. Fesemyer battled with Yen Hoang to the line, besting her Illinois teammate by two seconds.
“I always look forward to racing new courses, especially a technical one, and the B.A.A. Half Marathon did not disappoint,” said Romanchuk. “The rain added another level of challenge, but it was fun, and I’m very happy with the outcome today. Looking forward to being back in April for the marathon!”
“I’m honored to be here for the B.A.A. Half Marathon and to walk away with the course record today,” said Fesemyer. “The course presented various challenges with the rolling hills and weather. I want to thank my teammate Yen Hoang for bringing the intensity today and pushing me to do my best.”
A pending world record was set by Dedham, Mass.-native Brian Reynolds in the Para Athletics Division T62 (lower-limb impairment) category. Reynolds finished the course in 1:25:46. As a World Para Athletics-certified event, the B.A.A. Half Marathon is eligible for national and world records.
Among notable Para Athletics Divisions winners were Marko Cheseto Lemtukei (T62, 1:24:54); Jacky Hunt-Broersma (T62, 1:53:22); Irwin Ramirez (T11-T13, 1:38:13), and Jennifer Herring (T11-T13, 1:41:32). The top non-binary finisher was Trever Turnbow in 1:42:33.
Among the field of participants today were 257 athletes also entered in April’s 127th Boston Marathon. Participants in this year’s B.A.A. Half Marathon were from 46 U.S. states (plus Washington, DC) and 95 countries.
Since 2003, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund has partnered with the B.A.A. Half Marathon as the race’s presenting sponsor and exclusive charity team. Through this relationship, Dana-Farber runners have collectively raised more than $8 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. A team of 400 athletes were part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jimmy Fund team for this year’s event, raising more than $450,000 to defy cancer.
The B.A.A. Half Marathon was the final event in the 2022 B.A.A. Distance Medley, a three-race series providing athletes a year-long way to experience training and racing at three different distances. A total of 1,418 entrants were completing the series, which includes April’s B.A.A. 5K, June’s B.A.A. 10K, and November’s B.A.A. Half Marathon.
The B.A.A. is committed to a world where all people can access and benefit from running and an active lifestyle.