Jepchirchir wins sprint in the sun
Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir won a thrilling Boston Marathon to continue an incredible winning streak in the marathon.
In the space of eight short months, Jepchirchir has won Olympic marathon gold, the TCS New York City Marathon (which brought her a share of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series title) and now the world’s oldest continuously held 26.2-mile race.
The 28-year-old was forced to fight to the last by Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh, as the pair swapped the lead on numerous occasions and battled through the final two turns on the course, remaining side by side as they entered the last few hundred metres.
Despite looking the more ragged of the two, the Kenyan was able to summon enough strength to up the pace one last time. Yeshaneh was finally unable to respond, leaving Jepchirchir to take the tape in the New England sunshine in a time of 2:21:01.
The early miles saw the lead group of women set a pace close to course record, but when the pack finally split apart, it became a three-woman contest for the victory between Yeshaneh, Jepchirchir and the 2021 London champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.
Jepkosgei threw in the towel at 23 miles, paying for her effort to stay with the speed of the other leaders, and she was eventually caught by the chase group, with Mary Ngugi repeating her 2021 result in third and Edna Kiplagat, at the age of 42, taking fourth in a new masters course record of 2:21:40.
Monicah Ngigi and Viola Cheptoo also passed Jepkosgei to take fifth and sixth.
Evans Chebet secured his first AbbottWMM race win with a late spurt that destroyed the strong field behind him.
A large pack of men stuck together until the 35km mark, but by the next 5km split, Chebet had decided to show his hand, putting in a series of miles no slower than 4:30. No one else was able to stay with that attack and the 33-year-old was able to seal a maiden Majors win.
Chebet crossed he line in 2:06:51, with 2019 champion Lawrence Cherono second in 2:07:21, and 2021 winner Benson Kipruto a further six seconds back.