Boston Marathon

‘In a Marathon, Anything Can Happen': A Boston Sweep for Kenya's Chebet, Obiri

Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men's wheelchair division, and American Susannah Scaroni took the women's wheelchair division

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Defending champion Evans Chebet of Kenya won the Boston Marathon again on Monday, surging to the front at Heartbreak Hill to spoil the much-anticipated debut of world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and win in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 54 seconds.

Hellen Obiri, a two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 5,000 meters, won the women’s race in a sprint down Boylston Street to finish in an unofficial 2:21:38 and complete the Kenyan sweep. Amane Beriso of Ethiopia finished second.

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The Boston Athletic Association is boasting the strongest pro field ever, with world record holders, Olympic medalists and Boston champions among the lineup this year.

Chebet, 2021 winner Benson Kipruto of Kenya and Gabriel Geay of Tanzania dropped Kipchoge from the lead pack around Mile 20 and then ran together for the last three miles. Geay won a footrace for second, 10 seconds behind the winner and 2 seconds ahead of Kipruto. The 34-year-old is the first man to defend his title at Boston since 2008, and his winning time of 2:05:54 is the third-fastest winning time in race history.

“In a marathon anything can happen,” Obiri said of the men’s race. “It was a strong field, and everybody was there to race.”

Evans Chebet, of Kenya, breaks the tape at the finish line, winning the men's division of the Boston Marathon, April 17, 2023.
Charles Krupa/AP
Evans Chebet, of Kenya, breaks the tape at the finish line, winning the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 17, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Fan favorite Kipchoge finishes sixth

Kipchoge, a 12-time major marathon winner, was sixth. Scott Fauble was the top American, finishing seventh.

Kipchoge had been hoping to add a Boston Marathon victory to his unprecedented running resume. The 38-year-old has won two Olympic gold medals and four of the six major marathons; Boston is the only one he has competed in and failed to win. (He has never run New York.) He also broke 2 hours in an exhibition in a Vienna park.

Fighting a trace of a headwind and rain that dampened the roads, Kipchoge ran in the lead pack from the start in Hopkinton until the series of climbs collectively known as Heartbreak Hill. But to the surprise of the fans lined up along Boylston Street for the final sprit, he wasn’t among the three leaders.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 17: Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya runs in the professional Men's Division during the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. Kipchoge finished in sixth place. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Obiri, 32, is the only woman in history to win world titles in indoor and outdoor track and cross country but this was just her second marathon ever. Her time was the fourth-fastest winning time in history.

In a post race interview, her 7-year-old daughter said her mom did "good."

Getty Images
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 17: Hellen Obiri of Kenya crosses the finish line and takes first place in the professional Women's Division during the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia finished fourth in the women's field despite falling not far from the finish line.

Emma Bates of the U.S. finished fifth at 2:22:10, the second-fastest time ever for an American woman at the Boston Marathon behind only Shalane Flanagan.

Hug, Scaroni take Boston Marathon wheelchair titles

In the men's wheelchair division, five-time Boston Marathon champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland made it six on Monday.

His unofficial finish time was 1:17:06, beating his former record at the Boston Marathon by about a minute. American Daniel Romanchuk was second in 1:27.45, followed by Jetze Plat of the Netherlands in 1:28.35.

Hug won the Boston Marathon the last year he competed in 2021, but had to withdraw due to injury in 2022.

Getty Images
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 17: Marcel Hug of Switzerland crosses the finish line and takes first place in the professional Men's Wheelchair Division during the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

In the women's wheelchair division, American Susannah Scaroni won with an unofficial time of 1:41:45. It's her first Boston Marathon win.

The 31-year-old's victory followed runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2022. She was followed by Madison de Rozario of Australia in 1:46.55 and Wakako Tsuchida of Japan in 1:47.04.

Getty Images
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 17: Susannah Scaroni of the United States crosses the finish line and takes first place in the professional Women's Wheelchair Division during the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Hug’s win was the second-largest in the Boston wheelchair race’s history. He received $25,000 for the victory and a $50,000 bonus for setting the new course mark.

The 37-year-old Hug surged to the front of the field on a foggy and drizzly morning, leading the majority of the 26.2-mile course a year after withdrawing before the race for medical reasons. Hug also broke the course record in Saturday’s 5K race as well.

Scaroni built a 20-second lead early before having to stop briefly to adjust a loose right wheel about 10 miles in. She dealt with the issue and returned to the race.

“It’s better to pull over losing that time tightening it," she said. "The speed you lose when your wheel is (loose) is much greater than the time you would lose by not tightening it. I was disappointed. I just tried to get back to the ... pace as quickly as I could.”

PHOTOS: Inspiring Images From the 127th Boston Marathon

Fastest field ever?

This year's Boston Marathon boasted the fastest and most-decorated elite field ever to assemble in Hopkinton.

For the first time, the race also included a nonbinary division, with 27 athletes registered.

A dozen former champions and participants from 120 countries and all 50 states were among the field running 10 years after the finish line bombing that killed three people and wounded hundreds more. The race also included 264 members of the One Fund community — those injured by the attack, their friends and family and charities associated with them.

The city marked the anniversary in a ceremony on Saturday.

A robotic dog named Stompy belonging to the Department of Homeland Security patrolled the start line before the race began, trailed by photographers capturing the peculiar sight. Officials said there were no known threats.

Courtesy: Associated Press

Around 30,000 athletes ran the 26.2 miles to Copley Square in Boston on Monday. A light drizzle made for wet roads at the start and runners faced a bit of a headwind, with temperatures in the low 50s.

But before the athletes who ran Monday's Boston Marathon arrived in Hopkinton, they had to catch a ride to the start line for the iconic road race. Thousands of runners took the bus from the Boston Common to the start line in Hopkinton.

If you’re heading into the city on Sunday, remember that street parking is free and there are garages at the Common, the Pru and Copley.

Famous Boston Marathon runners

Some famous names were among those running Monday.

Athletes like Boston Bruins legend Zdeno Chara, former Boston College and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and ex-Red Sox players Brock Holt and Ryan Dempster all donned bibs that correlated with their old numbers.

They’re raising money to support different foundations for autism, cancer research and curing paralysis. Dempster ran for the foundation honoring Lingzi Lu, one of the victims who died in the attack 10 years ago.

“It’s really sentimental to me," Dempster said. "I started that day at Fenway Park on Patriots Day on the day of the unfortunate turn of events on the finish line. So I’m coming back 10 years later to run to raise money for the Lingzi Foundation.”

Shores Salter was a 20-year-old college student when he ran toward the smoke after the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon in 2013.

At 6 a.m. Monday, Boston Athletic Association race director Dave McGillivray sent out a group of about 20 from the Massachusetts National Guard that hikes the course annually.

Capt. Kanwar Singh, 33, of Malden, Massachusetts, said it’s a special day.

“Ten years ago, the city came to a halt. It’s an incredibly strong comeback, as a group together,” he said. “I tell people, never bet against Bostonians.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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