Sissay Lemma and Hellen Obiri Win 128th Boston Marathon

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Sisay Lemma from Ethiopia clinched victory in the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:06:17, after an early decisive move in the race. Defendig women's champion Hellen Obiri had to work hard to defeat Sharon Lokedi for the title.

Lemma initiated his breakaway in the third mile, separating significantly from his competitors. At the half-marathon point, he clocked an impressive 1:00:19, indicating a pace that might have threatened the 2:01 mark.

As the race progressed, Lemma established a lead of 2 minutes over a group of five runners at the 21 km mark, who clocked 1:02:08. This pack included notable runners such as Chebet, Albert Korir, Cybrian Kotut, John Korir, and Haftu Teklu. By the 20-mile mark, Lemma's lead had extended to 2 minutes and 49 seconds, though he fell short of breaking Geoffrey Mutai’s 2011 course record of 2:03:11.

Despite a slower pace in the Newton Hills and particularly the 21st mile, Lemma maintained a lead, ultimately securing the win with a 5:21 pace from the 24-mile mark to the finish. This victory marks Lemma’s second consecutive marathon win, following his personal best of 2:01:48 in Valencia, which is the fourth fastest marathon time recorded.

Lemma aimed for a course record to make up for past performances in Boston, viewing the race as preparation for the Olympic marathon in Paris. Mohamed Esa, finishing second in 2:06:58, also had a notable performance, moving up from fourth to second in the final mile, surpassing both Chebet and John Korir. Evans Chebet took third place with a time of 2:07:22, his aspirations to win a third consecutive Boston Marathon unfulfilled.

“I previously did not finish in this race, so I wanted redemption for that. That’s why I came. Thankfully I was able to redeem myself, so I am happy. My plan was to break the course record, but the hills made me really tired. The reason I raced in Boston is because the course is similar to the Olympic one, so hopefully this will be great preparation for the Paris Olympic Games”, said Lemma.

CJ Albertson finished as the top American, placing seventh with a time of 2:09:53, marking the first time in his career he has run under 2:10.

In the women’s race, Kenya's Hellen Obiri replicated her previous year’s success, winning in 2:22:37 and becoming the first woman since Catherine Ndereba to achieve back-to-back victories in Boston. The leading women passed the halfway point in 1:12:33, with the race dynamics changing drastically after 30 km.

Obiri, along with Sharon Lokedi and Edna Kiplagat, pulled away from the rest of the field by the 35 km mark, with Obiri ultimately outpacing Lokedi in the final stages to secure her win by an 8-second margin. Lokedi finished second, setting a personal best of 2:22:45, while veteran Kiplagat came in third.

“I knew that Sharon was very strong and I tried my best at the end. I tried to push, but she was still close behind me. To win here makes me so very happy. When I won here last year, I was not familiar with the marathon. This year my training was perfect and I trusted everything we were doing. Winning is something very precious. After winning here, I really hope I will be chosen to compete at the Olympics”, said Obiri. 

Obiri, a two-time world champion in the 5000 meters, has now won three consecutive World Marathon Majors within her first four marathons, including victories in both Boston 2023 and 2024, and New York 2023. She expressed immense satisfaction with her performance, attributing her success to perfect training and expressing hopes of Olympic selection.

Men's Top Results

1. Lemma, Sisay - 2:06:17
2. Esa, Mohamed - 2:06:58
3. Chebet, Evans - 2:07:22
4. Korir, John - 2:07:40
5. Korir, Albert - 2:07:47
6. Mpofu, Isaac - 2:08:17
7. Albertson, Cj - 2:09:53
8. Morii, Yuma - 2:09:59
9. Kotut, Cybrian - 2:10:29
10. Talbi, Zouhair - 2:10:45

Women's Top Results

1. Obiri, Hellen - 2:22:37
2. Lokedi, Sharon - 2:22:45
3. Kiplagat, Edna - 2:23:21
4. Diriba, Buze - 2:24:04
5. Teferi, Senbere - 2:24:04
6. Ngugi, Mary - 2:24:24
7. Edesa, Workenesh - 2:24:47
8. Gardadi, Fatima - 2:24:53
9. Mesfin, Tiruye - 2:24:58
10. Dida, Dera - 2:25:16

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