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Boston Marathon Live Updates: Benson Kipruto and Diana Kipyogei Win After a Lost Year | tnewst.com Press "Enter" to skip to content

Boston Marathon Live Updates: Benson Kipruto and Diana Kipyogei Win After a Lost Year

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We spoke to runners about what motivated them to compete in the Boston Marathon this year.

Credit…Brian Snyder/Reuters

Diana Kipyogei of Kenya won the Boston Marathon on Monday in her major marathon debut. At 27, her previous biggest victory was the Istanbul Marathon.

The race began in a a typical pattern, with a large lead group forming and runners gradually dropping away. The pack was still 20 strong by the halfway mark. The race didn’t really begin until 18 miles in, when Kipyogei surged ahead.

Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia, a former world cross-country champion, went after her and caught her within a few miles. Sometimes when a lone leader is caught in a marathon, it’s the end of the line for her. But at 24 miles, after the two had run side by side, it was Kipyogei who again took the lead.

The veteran Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, a pre-race favorite and a two-time world champion as well as a New York and Boston winner, soon caught Gudeta and gave chase to Kipyogei. She gained some time but could not close the whole gap.

Kipyogei finished her unexpected victory, in a field with many more accomplished runners, in 2 hours 24 minutes 45 seconds. Kiplagat, 41, finished second in 2:25:09.Kenyans took the top four spots, with Mary Ngugi third and Monicah Ngige fourth. Nell Rojas was the top American in sixth.

Credit…Allison Dinner for The New York Times

Benson Kipruto won the men’s race at the Boston Marathon on Monday, held for the first time since 2019, in an unfamiliar fall setting.

Kipruto, a 30-year-old Kenyan, had won the Prague and Toronto Marathons, but lacked a signature victory before Monday.

C.J. Albertson, an American who was seventh in the most recent Olympic Trials and was not considered a major contender in Boston, caused a stir when he raced out to a big lead ahead of the main pack, by as much as 2 minutes 13 seconds by the halfway mark. Such early leads seldom last long, but Albertson stubbornly stayed out front for mile after mile.

But the elite runners behind him started cutting into the lead, and after 20.5 miles, it was gone. The 15-strong pack that caught him included the major contenders Filex Kiprotich, Wilson Chebet and Asefa Mengstu. That’s when the race really began.

And the trigger was Kipruto, who put in a big surge on his own at 22 miles and seized the lead, with little resistance. He soon had a 30-second lead, and pulled away with confidence. No one seemed willing to chase him, and he won going away in 2:09:51.

Ethiopians were second, third and fourth, with Lemi Berhanu second, 46 seconds behind Kipruto and just a second ahead of Jemal Yimer.

Albertson, running on his birthday, unexpectedly hung on to finish 10th. “My belief is that I am the best downhill runner in the world,” he said of the race’s opening stages. “I wasn’t running hard, I was just running to what my strengths are. I’m not going to fly up the uphills like some of the other runners.”

Credit…Tannen Maury/EPA, via Shutterstock

Danica Patrick is no stranger to racing, but on Monday she will be competing in a different kind of race as she runs her first marathon.

“I have only ever had one bucket list item. 1! That is to do a marathon,” she wrote on Instagram. “So, why not do the most famous and apparently hardest one … Boston.”

Patrick, who retired from racecar driving in 2018, is running in bib number 500, a nod by race organizers to her trailblazing accomplishments at the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500.

Patrick is the honorary team captain for Team Speed of Light, the fund-raising arm of a foundation started by the former New England Patriot Matt Light that helps young people develop skills for their future through the outdoors.

“It’s no secret that I love a tough challenge,” she wrote on a team fund-raising page for the race. “I’ve never ran a marathon, so why not do the most historic and iconic one first.”

Patrick shared her training — and what she’s learned from it — with her followers. She noted the benefit of being in tune with her hydration and nutrition, what she’s wearing to run, the temperature and available shade. But Patrick also realized the mental game that is distance running, sharing on Instagram, “when I need my mind to shift from pain to something good … with some effort, I can.”

Runners typically have to qualify for the Boston Marathon, completing at least one 26.2 mile race before. By running to support a charity, Patrick is able to run Monday’s race as her first. She is running with a group that includes her sister, Brooke Selman.

“Can’t wait to join my fellow runners for the race of a lifetime,” she wrote.

After 20.5 miles, C.J. Albertson’s lead in the men’s race is finally gone. He started to slow significantly and was swallowed up by a 10-strong pack including the major contenders Filex Kiprotich, Benson Kipruto, Wilson Chebet and Asefa Mengstu. So Albertson will not win the Boston Marathon, but you’ve got to hand it to him for hanging on as long as he did.

Credit…Allison Dinner for The New York Times

Marcel Hug of Switzerland won his fifth Boston Marathon wheelchair event on Monday, but a missed turn may have been costly for him.

Hug left the field behind from the first push, and was never even remotely challenged. With more than a seven-minute lead, it seemed to matter little that he briefly missed a turn near the finish.

But the course record is 1 hour 18 minutes 4 seconds — which Hug himself set in 2017 — and he stood to pick up a $50,000 bonus had he broken it. Instead he crossed the line in 1:18:11. It looked quite possible that were it not for the wrong turn, the bonus would have been his.

Hug was supposed to turn right onto Boston’s Hereford Street, just before the final left turn onto Boylston Street. But he followed a lead car past Hereford, then stopped and backtracked once he realized his mistake.

“Just a stupid mistake for myself,” Hug said in an interview on WBZ-TV. “I was just focusing on the car, just pushing as hard as I can. And then the car went straight. I followed the car but I should go right. It’s my fault. I should know the course, I’ve done it several times. I’m really upset about myself.”

“I’m really happy about this race and my performance,” Hug added. “But I’m also upset because that should not happen.”

Hug reversed the results of this year’s Chicago Marathon, where he was defeated by Daniel Romanchuk of the United States. That Chicago race, incredibly, was just one day ago. Romanchuk finished second in Boston, 7:35 behind, with Ernst van Dyk of South Africa third.

Hug won four gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics, in the marathon and three track races. At 35, he also has three New York and three Berlin wins to his credit.

In the women’s wheelchair race, it was another blowout by a Swiss pusher.

Manuela Schar won her third Boston Marathon, pulling away from the gun and never looking back. She finished in 1:35:21. The five-time winner Tatyana McFadden was among those in her wake, in second place, 14:59 behind.

Schar also won Boston in 2017 and 2019 and won a gold medal in the 800 meters at the Paralympics in Tokyo.

This year, runners aren’t waiting around in clumps behind Hopkinton High School or on the start line for each wave to begin. It’s get off the bus and start running when you’re ready.

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In the women’s wheelchair race, it was another blowout by a Swiss pusher.

Manuela Schar won her third Boston Marathon, pulling away from the gun and never looking back. She finished in 1:35:21. The five-time winner Tatyana McFadden was among those in her wake, in second place, 14:59 behind.

Credit…Brian Snyder/Reuters

The Boston Marathon, normally run in April, returned after more than a year off because of the coronavirus pandemic. The wheelchair racers kicked things off, followed by the professional men and women and then a big rolling start of recreational runners who were thrilled to be back on the course.

About 10 miles into the men’s race and C.J. Albertson is still way out in front, by 1:43 over the pack. His chance of winning is still very small, based on history and form. The pack of stars is still moving easily and apparently unconcerned behind him, and it includes some of the world’s best marathoners, who know what they are doing. If Albertson somehow steals the race, it would be most unexpected.

Credit…Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

If there has been one iconic image at the Boston Marathon over the years, it was Dick Hoyt pushing his son Rick in a wheelchair along the course route.

Rick Hoyt, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, is passionate about sports, and the father and son completed more than 1,000 races, including the Boston Marathon nearly every year from 1980 to 2014.

The men’s wheelchair winner is Marcel Hug of Switzerland in 1:18:11. It was his fifth Boston win and came despite his losing a few seconds after missing a turn near the finish.

Hug reversed the results of this year’s Chicago Marathon, where he was defeated by Daniel Romanchuk of the United States. That Chicago race, incredibly, was yesterday.

Romanchuk finished second, 7:35 behind.

After five kilometers, C.J. Albertson has taken a one-minute lead in the men’s race. But don’t award him the title yet. Though an accomplished runner — he was seventh in the most recent Olympic trials — it would be quite a surprise to see him stay out front for too long. Still, it’s a brief moment of glory for him.

Credit…Paul Rutherford/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Credit…Maja Hitij/Getty Images

With the world’s six major marathons — Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston, Tokyo and New York City — squeezed into a six-week window this fall, most top runners had a tough call trying to decide which race to pick.

Then there was Shalane Flanagan.

The women’s champion of the 2017 New York City Marathon, Flanagan these days coaches Nike’s Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Ore. But she saw an opportunity in the closely packed schedule created by the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed three spring races into the fall. She decided to run in all six major marathons, and to try to complete each one in under three hours — roughly a pace of under 6 minutes 50 seconds per mile.

After finishing the Chicago Marathon Sunday in 2:46:39 — and winning the women’s 40-44 division — she is halfway there.

Now comes the hard part.

Flanagan, who grew up in Marblehead, Mass., hopped on a plane to Boston on Sunday afternoon and will be on the starting line of her hometown marathon Monday morning in Hopkinton.

“It’s so typical of Boston to be the super hard part,” Flanagan said during an interview last week.

If she can walk after this weekend, she will do a virtual version of the Tokyo Marathon at home in Oregon in a week. Then it’s off to the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7.

That’s a heavy workload after two major knee reconstructions in 2019. Her patellas have hamstring tendons from cadavers.

“I missed pushing myself,” Flanagan, 40, said of life after the end of her competitive running career. “It was just fun to have a big goal again.”

“We all reach a point where we know we can’t make that podium anymore, but it’s difficult at that point to just walk away and not challenge yourself anymore,” said Kara Goucher, the former Olympian who has been competing in very long trail races the past few years.

Flanagan tried to mimic a shorter version of the Chicago-Boston double last month, running 20-plus miles on a flat course one day, then 21 miles at a 6:40-per-mile pace on hilly terrain the next day. Changing her 17-month-old son’s diapers and working in her garden after the first run served as a stand-in for the hectic journey from Chicago to Boston.

“I know I am a better person if I run,” she said. “I just needed something else other than running for the sake of running.”

James Senbeta is a wheelchair marathoner from Chicago. “My first year was the year of the bombing, and I had to do an exam right after the race because he wouldn’t give me the make-up.”

Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

It’s just your basic school bus full of fast masked folks today. These bus rides to the start are generally super quiet — lots of people catching a little extra sleep and trying to conserve energy. Not this year. This one is loud. Everyone is chatting about running the past year and a half, and about all the other marathons they have run or missed. For dedicated runners, this is like a tribal reunion.

Credit…Matthew Futterman/The New York Times

Credit…CJ Gunther/European Pressphoto Agency, via Shutterstock

New York is bigger. London, Berlin and Chicago are faster. Tokyo stands out as the biggest continent’s biggest race. But Boston is to marathoning what the Masters is to golf and Wimbledon is to tennis — the sport’s signature event, where a single victory often defines a career.

For most of the recent past, African runners have reigned supreme in the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon, and it’s likely they will again this year. If history is a guide, the race will have to include some unique circumstances for a runner who is not from Ethiopia or Kenya to prevail.

In 2014, Meb Keflezighi of the United States won an emotional race one year after the 2013 bombing at the finish line. In 2018, Des Linden, another American, and Yuki Kawauchi of Japan prevailed during a freezing Nor’easter that made the race more a test of will than of speed.

A marathon that takes place during a pandemic probably qualifies as a unique circumstance, given the limitations on travel and the packed marathon schedule this fall that has spread the top talent among five major races. Still, there are several talented runners from East Africa who will be tough to beat: Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Benson Kipruto of Kenya in the men’s race; Workenesh Edesa of Ethiopia and Angela Tanui of Kenya in the women’s.

That said, with temperatures expected to be in the 60s, this should not be a particularly fast race, unless there is a major tailwind. Linden, who this year became the first woman to break three hours for 50 kilometers, is in the field, and so is Scott Fauble, who lives and trains at altitude in Flagstaff, Ariz., and ran a 2:09 in Boston in 2019. Jordan Hasay, another fast American woman, has finished third twice and could be dangerous.

Para Athletics Division Start

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Navajo women performed a traditional Jingle Dress Dance at the Boston Marathon finish line Sunday night.

It was well before dawn on Monday when, near the starting line of the 125th Boston Marathon, the chairman of the Boston Athletic Association read a statement acknowledging that the marathon’s 26.2 miles run through the homelands of Indigenous people.

The statement, read in the dark to the accompaniment of rattles and a drum, marked a victory for activists who had protested the decision to hold the marathon on Oct. 11, increasingly celebrated as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The marathon is usually held in April but was rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rather than find another date for the marathon, as some activists demanded, the association apologized and offered to make the land acknowledgment. It also agreed to donate $20,000 to hold a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Newton, one of the communities through which the marathon route passes. And it featured two Indigenous runners, Patti Dillon, of the Mi’kmaq, and Ellison Brown, of the Narragansett, on banners along the route.

Credit…Associated Press

The focus on Indigenous peoples added an unusual, somber note to marathon weekend, in the heart of a region that has long unreservedly celebrated its colonial history.

On Sunday night, two Navajo women performed a traditional Jingle Dress Dance at the finish line, tracing slow, bouncing circles in regalia strung with dangling metal cones, whose sound is believed to spread healing. Drums echoed in the canyon of Boylston Street.

One of the dancers, Erin Tapahe, 25, said she was running in part to bring attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women across the country by running in a long, red skirt, something she also did during training.

Love Richardson, 52, was one of 12 members of the Nipmuc Nation who were present for the pre-dawn acknowledgment on Monday.

She grew up in the central Massachusetts city of Worcester in the 1980s, and recalled her mother abruptly picking her up from school as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving approached, “because she didn’t want me to see those paper cutouts of turkeys and headdresses.”

She described it as “traumatic” to have been taught one version of colonial history at school and another, much more painful version at home. “We were not mentioned, we were colonized, assimilated,” she said.

Larry Spotted Crow Mann, 54, a Nipmuc singer and drummer, described Monday’s land acknowledgment as “amazing, kind of ineffable to describe,” despite the darkness and the bustle of marathon staff and the moving of trucks and cameras and equipment.

As soon as he started singing, he said, all of that seemed to disappear.

“I hope this is just the beginning of more press, and more coverage, in terms of doing it when it is actually light out,” said Mr. Mann, director of the Ohketeau Cultural Center in Ashfield, Mass. “Still, being there on that spot will leave an indelible mark.”

It’s been a long time waiting for the Boston Marathon. Thousands of runners gathered this morning at the Boston Common to take buses about 26 miles to Hopkinton, Mass., where they’ll get off and start running all the way back.

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Kerry Patrick, 59 and Nicole Patrick, 27, are a mother and daughter-in-law pair from Rising Sun, Md., and Falls Church, Va. This is Kerry’s fourth Boston Marathon and Nicole’s first. “This is a family thing for us today,” Kerry said. “After family losses in the last year, this is overcoming everything.”

Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Credit…Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

There’s not much the pandemic hasn’t delayed — Sunday travel to Boston was no exception. But some runners feared they might not make it at all.

Daniel Galvez had a flight from Chicago to Boston late Saturday afternoon but was faced with several delays before the flight was finally canceled. The reason was because the crew was short a flight attendant, he said.

Galvez took an Uber back to his house, got into his truck and drove through the night. He left Chicago at 8:30 p.m. Central time on Saturday and arrived at about 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, stopping only for gas and water. “I made it here,” said Galvez, a construction worker who is running in his 10th Boston Marathon, which he calls the Super Bowl of marathons. “Next is to finish.”

Across social media, too, runners tweeted at airlines including Delta and Southwest, sharing stories of flights terminated just as boarding began, delays that led to missed connections, struggles to connect with agents to rebook flights and cancellations that meant spending hundreds of extra dollars to make it in time for Monday’s start.

By Sunday night, Southwest Airlines had canceled more than 1,000 flights or nearly 30 percent of its schedule, according to a FlightAware tracker. The airline blamed air traffic control issues and disruptive weather, but federal regulators attributed the disruptions to aircraft and staffing issues.

Tammy Conquest picked up her bib on Sunday afternoon, relieved to have her kit safely in hand. Conquest was traveling from Washington, D.C., and also encountered delays at the airport. But some of her running partners from Washington and other racers have not been as lucky. “I have friends who are stranded trying to get to Boston,” said Conquest, who works for the government. Their flights were canceled, then their Amtrak trains faced lengthy delays, she said.

“It’s my third marathon, but it feels like my first,” Conquest said, adding that the backdrop of the pandemic added to her race-day nerves.

Handcycles and Duos Start

The wheelchair racers were the first to take off, and there are big early leaders already after five kilometers. Marcel Hug, a four-time winner, is up by 30 seconds on the men’s field, and Manuela Schar, the defending champion, leads the women by a minute.

Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times
Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Joshua Jamison of York, Pa., has been running the marathon since 2011. “The only year I’ve missed is 2012. It’s a tradition, something I look forward to every year. I have that streak going. It’s something I enjoy training for. The crowds and the tradition of Boston — the history of this race is really cool.”

Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Women’s Wheelchair Start

Marathoners are making their way through Boston Public Gardens to get onto the buses that will bring them to the starting line. Among them is Mandar Ananda, 43, who is running in his first in-person Boston Marathon after it was canceled last year. “I’m a little nervous and anxious — I never ran a race this big.”

Credit…Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

After waiting nearly two years for America’s three major marathons to return, runners and fans alike were greeted with back-to-back spectacles, with Chicago leading the way on Sunday and Boston picking up the pace on Monday.

The Chicago marathon was a smaller-scale version of what is among the six largest marathons in the world — but one that still lived up to its reputation as being one of the fastest.

Some 33,000 runners started and finished the race in Grant Park under humid conditions, with temperatures reaching well into the 70s. Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya was on pace to break the world record before settling for a dominant win, finishing in 2 hours 22:31 minutes. Seifi Tura of Ethiopia won the men’s race in 2 hours 06:12 minutes. Both are solid times given the uncomfortable conditions.

It was also a fairly impressive day for the Americans. Emma Bates and Sara Hall finished in second and third place among the women, and Galen Rupp finished second among the men.

As is often the case in big city races, though, much of the attention fell to the more than 30,000 participants and the tens of thousands of people who watched them, giving the country a glimpse of what things used to look like.

Chepngetich clearly has a talent for winning in warmer weather. She won the marathon at the world championships in Doha in 2019. That race had to be run at night to avoid the most severe temperatures, but still only 40 of the 68 runners finished the race in the 90-degree heat.

Boston should provide a little more comfort Monday, although temperatures will be in the high 60s and runners will be headed into a 10 mile-per-hour wind from the northeast.

It’s a gray, damp and cool morning here in Boston. Some marathoners are wearing black plastic garbage bags or ponchos as they make their way to the bus, though the drizzling has stopped. Others are in tanks and shorts.

Credit…Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

For most of the 20th century, the citizenry of Greater Boston could count on two things: The Boston Marathon took place in the spring, on Patriots’ Day, and the Red Sox broke everyone’s hearts in the fall.

But the Red Sox have won the World Series four times since 2004. And earlier this year, when Americans were struggling through some of the worst weeks of the pandemic and just beginning to get vaccinated, organizers moved the marathon from its traditional date on the third Monday in April to October, figuring that life might be back to something approaching normal by now and that staging a large event might not be quite so dangerous.

Indeed, Massachusetts has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, with 78 percent of residents over age 12 fully vaccinated.

The organizers had plenty of company. The two other major spring marathons, in Tokyo and London, also shifted to the fall. Organizers in Tokyo recently postponed the in-person version of their race again, but all the shifting created a glut of major marathons between September and November.

For their part, the Red Sox are scheduled to play at night — against the Tampa Bay Rays in their American League division series — rather than starting at 11 a.m. as they usually do on Patriots’ Day. Sadly, that means no Sam Adams party at Fenway for runners after the race.

Credit…Allison Dinner for The New York Times

This year’s Boston Marathon is much different than the event people have gotten used to.

To reduce overcrowding, organizers cut the size of the field to roughly 20,000 runners from the usual 30,000, which made qualifying for the race extremely difficult. Boston is the only major marathon that requires all participants who are not running for a charity to meet a standard, age-adjusted time.

The race was oversubscribed by more than 9,200 qualifiers, and with the field reduced by roughly one-third, runners had to beat the qualifying standard for their age group by 7 minutes 47 seconds to get into the race, since Boston accepts runners from fastest to slowest. That’s nearly three minutes faster than the previous record for the cutoff.

Instead of starting runners in multiple waves, organizers have set up a rolling start for everyone not in an elite competitive division. There will be no waiting around for hours at Hopkinton High School. It’s get off the bus and start running when you’re ready.

Runners need to be vaccinated or test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of the race. No one has to run with a mask, but runners have to wear them on the bus to the starting line and when they finish.

The biggest difference this year may be what unfolds on the sidelines. For the Boston region, the Patriots’ Day version of the marathon in April is usually a 26-mile party on a day when Massachusetts gives itself a hall pass from regular life.

There’s a lot of beer and plenty of barbecues on the lawns and sidewalks beside the racecourse, especially in the last 10 miles. Will those gatherings be as big and loud and boisterous during a pandemic as they were before it? If they are, at least a lot of them will be outside.

Credit…Ryan Mcbride/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The world’s biggest marathons were some of the first events canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and they were some of the last vestiges of prepandemic life to return.

In the last 15 days, however, they have come back in force. Berlin in late September, London last weekend, Chicago on Sunday. Tens of thousands of runners trotted through the streets and thousands more cheered them on, celebrating a return to something approaching normalcy.

Now comes the oldest and grandest marathon of all: Boston, which until the pandemic had been run in April of every year since 1897. Organizers last year first postponed the race to the fall, then canceled the in-person event altogether for the first time in its 124-year history.

Monday’s version will be smaller, and have some different details, but once more Boston is set to hold a 26.2-mile celebration of running and itself like no other city does, beginning early Monday morning and running right into the start of the Red Sox playoff game at a packed Fenway Park, a little more than a mile from the finish line, Monday night.

It doesn’t get much more Boston than that. For one day at least, and especially for 20,000 marathoners, life might actually feel almost normal.


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