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Peres Jepchirchir wins the Boston Marathon in 2:21:02

In an epic sprint finish, the reigning Olympic and New York Marathon champion broke the tape in 2:21:01

Peres Jepchirchir Photo by: Kevin Morris

On a cool, sunny morning in Boston, the strongest women’s field in the race’s history made the journey from Hopkinton to Boylston for the 50th anniversary of the women’s race. In a thrilling sprint to the finish, it was reigning Olympic champion, Peres Jepchirchir, who took the win in 2:21:02. Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia fought hard to beat her, but had to settle for second, only four seconds behind Jepchirchir in 2:21:06. Mary Ngugi of Kenya was third in 2:21:32.

The race started out conservatively, but and Jepchirchir and 2021 London Marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei (the top two marathoners in the world this year) didn’t wait long before they began cranking up the pace. Going through the first 5K in 17:40, they gradually sped up to 16:39 for the next 5K and 15:49 for the third 5K. Canadians Natasha Wodak and Malindi Elmore fell off the lead pack just before the 10K mark.

By 15K, what had been a group of 11 runners was whittled down to four: Jepchirchir, Jepkosgei, Yeshaneh and Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw. They were followed distantly by a chase pack, while the American favourite, Olympic bronze medallist Molly Seidel, faded to a third pack of two, along with British runner Charlotte Purdue.

By the halfway mark, Azimeraw had dropped off, and the lead group of three split 1:09:40 for 21K and left the chase pack completely out of sight. Elmore was a few minutes behind in 1:12:51 and Wodak went through the halfway mark in 1:13:27.

The top three women raced together until about the 37 km mark, at which point Jepchirchir and Yeshaneh broke away to race for the win. The pair appeared to be speaking to each other, with Yeshaneh seeming to ask Jepchirchir to get out from behind her and run next to her. Both women ran with focused determination, and it was impossible to pedict a winner.

As the pair approached the iconic CITGO sign, Jepchirchir unleashed a monster kick, gapping Yeshaneh within seconds. Yeshaneh was undeterred, and quickly caught up and overtook Jepchirchir heading into the tunnel. The two runners traded back and forth for the lead over the final couple of kilometres. It was a sprint finish, with the Olympic and New York Marathon champion beating Yeshaneh to the line in 2:21:02. Yeshaneh finished close behind her in 2:21:05, and Kenya’s Mary Ngugi was third in 2:21:32, repeating her third-place finish from last year.

Elmore ran a very strong race, finishing 11th in 2:27:58. Wodak had a difficult second half, finishing in 19th 2:35:08, and Newfoundland’s Kate Bazeley rounded out the Canadian squad in 24th in 2:38:26. American favourite Molly Seidel appeared to be struggling early in the race, and ended up dropping out sometime after the 25 km mark.

Women’s top 10

  1. Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 2:21:01
  2. Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 2:21:06
  3. Mary Ngugi (KEN) 2:21:32 (*PB)
  4. Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:21:40 (first masters finisher)
  5. Monicah Ngige (KEN) 2:22:13
  6. Viola Jeptoo (KEN) 2:23:47
  7. Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) 2:24:43
  8. Degitu Azimeraw (ETH) 2:25:23
  9. Charlotte Purdue (GBR) 2:25:26 (*PB)
  10. Nell Rojas (USA) 2:25:57 (*PB)
  11. Malindi Elmore (Canada) 2:27:58 (second masters finisher)
  12. Steph Bruce (USA) 2:28:02 
  13. Des Linden (USA) 2:28:47
  14. Dakotah Lindwurm (USA) 2:29:55
  15. Bria Wetsch (USA) 2:30:42
  16. Elaina Tabb (USA) 2:31:34
  17. Maegan Krifchin (USA) 2:31:53
  18. Kathy Derks (USA) 2:34:54
  19. Natasha Wodak (Canada) 2:35:08 (third masters finisher)
  20. Angie Orjuela (Colombia) 2:35:17

*PBs from Boston are asterisked because it is a point-to-point, net downhill course.

Manuela Schär wins third straight Boston Marathon

Swiss athlete Manuela Schär added a fourth Boston Marathon win to her trophy case, after winning in 2017, 2019 and 2021. She held a commanding lead right from the start, soloing the entire 42.2 kilometres to finish in 1:41:08.

Susannah Scaroni of the United States finished behind her in 1:46:20, followed by Australia’s Madison Rosario in 1:52:48.

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