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Evans Chebet goes back-to-back at Boston Marathon

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge finishes sixth in his Boston debut

Evans Chebet Photo by: Kevin Morris

It was a déja-vu moment for Kenya’s Evans Chebet at the 2023 Boston Marathon as he claimed victory at the race for the second straight year. Chebet (who also won last year’s New York City Marathon) ran the third-fastest time in Boston history on a humid and wet day in Massachusetts, finishing in 2:05:54. Chebet is the first man to successfully defend his title at the Boston Marathon since Kenya’s Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot did so in 2008. 

Mens start boston
Kenya’s Benson Kipruto, Evans Chebet and Eliud Kipchoge before the start of the 127th Boston Marathon in Hopkinton. Photo: Kevin Morris

Despite winning in 2022, Chebet was not the favourite heading into the race, as all eyes were on marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge as he made his Boston debut. Chebet executed a tactical masterpiece, sitting on Kipchoge and letting him do the work for the first 30 km. Chebet and Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay made a move on the Newton Hills, dropping the double Olympic marathon champion.

Kipchoge was without his “bottle guy” in Boston, and reportedly missed his hydration bottle before the lead group reached Newton. Chebet and teammate Benson Kipruto worked together to separate themselves from the rest of the lead men’s pack of five around 35 km, establishing a group of three with Geay, with seven kilometres to go.

Chebet and Kipruto began sharing hydration bottles and appeared to be chatting at the 40 km mark. Seconds later, Chebet made another surge in an attempt to drop Geay, and held on down Bolyston to win his second consecutive title in 2:05:54. Geay finished second in 2:06:04, improving his fourth-place finish at Boston from 2022. Chebet’s teammate and 2021 Boston Marathon champion Kipruto was third, two seconds back of Geay in 2:06:06.

“It was my hope to defend my title,” says Chebet. “Benson and I worked together to ensure one of us could win the race.”

Kipchoge crossed the finish line in 2:09:23 in his first Boston Marathon, in sixth place. His finish Monday marked only his third loss in a major marathon. The 38-year-old two-time Olympic gold medallist has won four of the six major marathons and had hoped to earn his fifth in Boston. (He has not yet competed in the New York City Marathon.)

In 2022, Chebet was the first man to win the Boston Marathon and the NYC Marathon in the same year since Geoffrey Mutai did that in 2011 (the year he set the course record in Boston at 2:03:02).

Scott Fauble was the top American in 2:09:44, finishing seventh for the third consecutive year. “I made good decisions early on,” says Fauble. “I didn’t start catching people until the second half of the race.”

Conditions were soggy and wet in Boston, with temperatures at 10 C and rainy at the start and until approximately mile 20, which may have played a role in some of the less expected outcomes.

Monday’s marathon, held 10 years since the finish-line bombing that killed three people and injured hundreds, included more than 30,000 participants.

Men’s top 10

  1. Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:05:54
  2. Gabriel Geay (TAN) 2:06:04
  3. Benson Kipruto (KEN) 2:06:06
  4. Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:01
  5. Zohair Talbi (MOR) 2:08:35
  6. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2:09:23
  7. Scott Fauble (USA) 2:09:44
  8. Hassan Chaudi (FRA) 2:09:46
  9. John Korir (KEN) 2:10:04
  10. Matthew McDonald (USA) 2:10:17

Non-binary results

In the non-binary category, introduced for the first time in 2023, the top performer was Vermont-based Kae Ravichandran, who finished in 2:38:57; second in this category was Cal Calamia of California in 2:51:00 and third was Matthew Powers of Vermont in 2:54:54.

Para results

T11/T12 (visual impairment): El Amin Chentouf (men) in 2:31:35, Jessica Loomer (women) in 4:21:04

T13 (visual impairment): Andrew Thorsen (men) in 2:45:39, Jennifer Herring (women) in 3:38:55

T45/T46 (upper limb impairment): Atsbha Gebremeskel (men) in 2:43:57

T61/T63 (lower limb impairment): Rajesh Durbal (men) in 4:37:26

T62/T64 (lower limb impairment): Marko Cheseto Lemtukei (men) in 2:50:02, Liz Willis (women) in 4:05:25

For our story on the results of the men’s and women’s wheelchair races, click here

For complete results, click here.

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