Chebet and Obiri claim the Kenyan double at the Boston Marathon

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Evans Chebet won the men’s race at the 127thedition of the Boston Marathon for the second consecutive year in 2:05:54 in rainy weather conditions. 

He ran almost one minute faster than his winning time on the same course last year.

RESULTS - 2023 Boston Marathon

Chebet has completed a hat-trick of wins at the World Marathon Majors on US soil after taking three consecutive victories in Boston and New York in 2022 and in Boston in 2023.

The 34-year-old Kenyan runner has become the sixth man to win back-to-back editions in Boston and the first since Robert Cheruiyot, who won three straight editions in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Despite the pouring rain Chebet clocked the fastest time in Boston since 2011, when Geoffrey Mutai triumphed in 2:03:02, and the third fastest time in the history of this historic race.

Kipchoge was part of a leading pack of 11 runners, who went through the 10 km in 28:52. They reached the halfway mark in 1:02:19. Chebet and Kipchoge were running together in the lead pack at the 30 km, reaching this mark in 1:29:23. 

Two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge was not able to keep up with the pace one minute later and fell away from the leading group after the 30 km in hilly section of the course near Newton. Kipchoge attempted to grab a bottle at a water station, but he missed picking it up. Kipchoge fell 16 seconds behind the leading group at 32 km. 

The leading group was whittled down to five athletes at the 35 km with 1:44.19 on the clock: Chebet, 2021 Boston marathon winner Benson Kipruto, Tanzanian record holder Gabriel Geay, Kenya’s John Korir and Andualem Belay from Ethopia. Kipchoge was more than a minute behind.

Chebet, Geay and Kipruto remained at the front with 4 km to go. They ran together for the next three km before Geay fell behind, leaving training partners Chebet and Kipruto in the lead. Chebet broke away from Kipruto with 1 km to go and went on to cross the finish-line in 2:05:54. Geay moved past Kipruto in the final stages of the race to take second place in 2:06:04. Kiprutocrossed the finish-line two seconds behind Geayin 2:06:06. Albert Korir finished fourth in 2:08:01 ahead of Touhair Talbi (2:08:35).

Kipchoge crossed the finish-line in sixth place in 2:09:23 in his debut in the Boston Marathon. 

The Kenyan marathon legend was aiming to win the 16th marathon out of the 18 races he has run in his career. Kipchoge has lost just three of his 18 marathon races and suffered his first defeat since October 2020, when he finished eighth in London in his slowest ever time. He was aiming at the goal to become the first runner to complete his set of wins at all six World Marathon Majors. 

Evans Chebet: “I train with Benson Kipruto. He is my friend and like a brother to me. With one kilometre to go, I said to him: let’s go. I am happy because I know this course very well. I won last year, and now I have won this year, so maybe I will come back next year”.

The top-three group formed by Chebet, Geay and Kipruto pulled away from the rest of the field.

Obiri wins her first marathon race

Hellen Obiri from Kenya won the women’s race on the second marathon race of her career setting the fourth fastest time in the women’s race in the history of the Boston Marathon with 2:21:38. Obiri finished sixth in the New York marathon last November on her debut over the 42.195 km distance. Obiri won two world gold medals the 5000m in London 2017 and Doha 2019 and two Olympic silver medals over the same distance in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2021.

The women’s race started at a conservative pace. A large group of 20 runners went through the 10 km in 34:46 and was whittled down to 11 contenders at the halfway mark, which they reached in 1:11.29.

The leading pack still featured Obiri, world marathon champion Gotytom Gebrselase, Ethiopian record holder and 2022 Valencia Marathon winner Amane Beriso, Amsterdam winner and course record holder Angela Tanui, 2020 Tokyo Marathon winner Lonah Salpeter, Ababel Yeshaneh, Eritrean record holder NazretWeldu, 2021 London champion JoycilineJepkosgei and Emma Bates. 

Gebrselase and Weldu fell behind with 8 km to go. Six women remained in contention at 37 km: Salpeter, Beriso, Jepkosgei, Yeshaneh and Bates.

Obiri, Beriso and Yeshaneh battled it for the win in a very close race, while Jepkosgei, Bates and Salpeter started to fade. Yeshaneh tripped, but she recovered from the fall and rejoined the leading pack. 

Beriso and Obiri broke away from Yeshaneh with 2:17 on the clock.

Obiri showed her track speed when she pulled away from Beriso 90 seconds later to take the winin 2:21:38. She was greeted by her daughter at the finish-line.

Beriso from Ethiopia crossed the finish-line in 2:21:50, while Lonah Salpeter moved past Yeshaneh to take third place in 2:21:57. Yeshanehfinished fourth in 2:22:00. Emma Bates was the first US runner in fifth place in 2:22:10.

Hellen Obiri: “I am so happy. First of all I did not want to come because my heart was somewhere else. I was undecided about which marathon to do this year, but eventually I decided to run in Boston. My coach Dathan Ritzenheimtold me: ‘My heart says you should go for Boston. You have trained well. You are ready to do Boston’. I said no, because it is is a strong field. I am happy I chose to do it. It’s a surprise to me, but I was feeling like my body was ready, and everthing was ready.”

More than 30000 runners from 100 countries took part in the popular marathon race from Hopkinton to Boylston Street.

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