The 125th Boston Marathon brought one of the most exciting races in recent years, but it was Kenya’s Benson Kipruto and Diana Kipyogei who won the men’s and women’s titles. This is both athletes’ first Abbott World Marathon Majors title. Kipruto won the men’s race in 2:09:51 and Kipyogei won the women’s race in 2:24:45.
The men’s race was a game of cat and mouse as CJ Albertson of the U.S, who was not a favourite heading into the race, surprised the field in the early stages, covering the first 10K in 29:32 – 90 seconds ahead of the field. Albertson came into the race with a PB of 2:11:18, placing second at the Grandma’s Marathon in June. He extended his lead through the halfway mark to just over two minutes.
As he approached the Newton hills around 30 km, Albertson began to show signs of fatigue, and the chase pack of 10 runners made up the gap by 35 km. 2017 champion Geoffery Kirui took the lead at the 35 km mark, but it was Kipruto who broke away from the pack with 6 km to go.
Kipruto was locked and loaded, never looking back as he covered the final 5K in 14:06. Kipruto has had success in recent years, winning the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon and 2021 Prague Marathon. Ethiopian Lemi Berhanu finished second in 2:10:36, and his countryman Jemal Yimer was third (2:10:37) in his very first marathon.
The top Canadian today was Thomas Toth, who finished 24th overall, in 2:21:01. Toth worked together with fellow Canadian Dylan Wykes for most of the race. Wykes was the second Canadian across the line in 2:21:45. Rory Linkletter was the third Canadian to finish, in 34th place in his first Boston Marathon appearance (2:23:34). Although Patrice Labonte was the second-fastest Canadian time in 2:21:27, he started in the mass-start race instead of the elite field. Labonte was the first runner to cross the line in the mass race.
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The women’s race
The women’s race got off to a slow start, with the breakaway group not starting until 30K. American favourites Des Linden and Jordan Hasay fell minutes off the pack quite early on an overcast day in Boston. At 30 km, Kipyogei, whose only previous victory came at the Istanbul Marathon, took the lead and held it, fending off strong surges from Edna Kiplagat and Netsanet Gudeta over the final five kilometres to win her first Boston Marathon. Kiplagat ran out of real estate trying to close Kipyogei’s gap over the final kilometre, finishing second, 24 seconds behind Kipyogei (2:25:09). It was a Kenyan sweep of the women’s podium with Mary Ngugi finishing third (2:25:20).
The first Canadian woman who finished was Toronto’s Brittany Moran who finished 29th overall, in 2:39:29. Moran was the only Canadian on the women’s elite start line, finishing three minutes behind her personal best time of 2:36. The second Canadian across the line in 2:43:56 was Carolyn Buchanan, a distance runner from Toronto that trains with Pace & Mind. This was the second time Buchanan has run Boston, finishing fifth overall in the mass race, and setting a personal best.
Wow. In wheelchair race at the Boston Marathon, Marcel Hug went straight instead of making the famous right turn onto Hereford Street at the end of the race.
Hug won the race in 1:18:11, but the mishap likely cost him the course record of 1:18:04, which he set in 2017.
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) October 11, 2021
Hug and Schär win the wheelchair races
In the final kilometre of the men’s wheelchair race, Marcel Hug followed the lead car as it exited the course before the finish line, missing the turn onto Hereford Street. Hug had to backtrack and just missed out on the course record, winning the men’s race, after finishing second at the Chicago Marathon just yesterday.
In the women’s WC race, Manuela Schär of Switzerland won her third Boston Marathon. This marks a Switzerland sweep of the WC category races at Boston.
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) October 13, 2021
Marco Cheseto Lemtukei won the Para T61-T64 division (for athletes with single or double-leg amputation above or below the knee who run with prostheses) in 2:53:09. Liz Willis was the women’s Para T61-T64 champion, finishing in 4:04:01.
Christopher Lancaster won the men’s T13 division for visually impaired athletes in 3:38:15, and Tayana Passos of Brazil won the women’s race in 3:25:45. Chaz Davis won the men’s T11/12 race for visually impaired athletes in 2:46:52, and Misato Michishita of Japan won the women’s race in 3:08:14.