Boston Marathon comes down to sprint finish

The 128th Boston Marathon was held last Monday, April 17. The race promised fast times and good vibes, with spectators lining the course to cheer on the nearly 30,000 participants. The elite field was guaranteed to entertain, with seventeen former champions in the mix and both the men’s and women’s defending champions ready to tow the line for another chance at first place.  

The weather was a pleasant 60 degrees and sunny with minimal wind as the first corrals made their way to the start line in the town of Hopkinton, Mass. — which was celebrating its 100th anniversary as the starting line of the Boston Marathon. The elite fields started just after 9:30 a.m. local time. 

The men’s race was decided within the first few miles, as Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma quite literally ran away from a stacked field. He set a blistering pace for the first 13 miles, running faster than the course record pace and gapping the rest of the runners by over a half mile at some points. The warming temperatures and brisk pace seemed to take their toll in the second half, however, as he ended up finishing with 2:06:17. Fellow Ethiopian runner Mohamed Esa, who had worked to class the gap throughout the final thirteen miles, crossed the finish line forty-one seconds after Lemma for second place. Kenyan Evans Chebet, who won both the 2022 and 2023 Boston Marathons, was unable to execute his goal of becoming a three-peat champion and came in third with a time of 2:07:22. 

The women’s race came down to a final sprint between two Kenyan distance running stars: Helen Obiri and Sharon Lokedi. They pulled away from the rest of the field in the final miles and remained neck-and-neck until the last .2 miles of a 26.2-mile race. Helen Obiri took the victory with 2:22:37, marking her second Boston Marathon victory in a row after winning last year’s race with a time of 2:21:38. Sharon Lokedi finished just eight seconds behind her, with 2:22:45, for second place. Edna Kiplagat crossed the finish line with 2:23:21 for third, giving Kenya the top three spots in the women’s competition. Emma Bates was the first American woman to finish for the second year in a row. She was 12th overall, with a finishing time of 2:27:14.