Boston Marathon: Chebet repeats, Obiri wins her first

by Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell

Boston, Massachusetts, April 17, 2023—Don’t bet against Evans Chebet! It’s not often that a defending champ is not the big pre-race story. Chebet, the 2022 Boston and New York City Marathon champion, was somewhat overlooked due to the presence of World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge. But with patience and confidence he won again, in 2:05:54.

After the race he said, “I’m happy because I know this race. Because I won it last year and this year. So maybe next year I’ll come back again and win it, too.” Asked if he had thought he could beat Kipchoge he said: “Eliud was not so much of a threat because the bottom line was that we [Chebet and his training partner Benson Kipruto] trained well. Our confidence in the quality of our training made us feel good about taking on this race.”

Gabriel Geay of Tanzania moved up from fourth in 2022 to second in 2023, finishing in 2:06:04. Chebet’s training partner and 2021 Boston Marathon champion Benson Kipruto was third in 2:06:06.

Albert Korir of Kenya, the 2021 NYC Marathon champion, was fourth in 2:08:01. Zouhair Talbi of Morocco, who ran for Oklahoma City University, was fifth in his marathon debut in 2:08:35. World record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya was sixth in 2:09:23. Kipchoge had a rare (for him) unequal split, over five minutes slower during the second half.

Scott Fauble of Flagstaff, AZ, was first USA finisher and seventh overall in 2:09:44. Fauble, who knows the Boston course well, ran strong throughout and passed Utah’s Conner Mantz in the final mile. Matthew McDonald of Cambridge, MA finished tenth in 2:10:17 and was second American. Mantz was eleventh in only his second marathon, in 2:10:25. Twenty-eight men broke 2:19 in the extremely deep field. Fernando Cabada of Aurora, CO was top master in 2:23:01. Anthony Bruns of Denver was second in 2:23:39.

After her marathon debut in New York in November, Hellen Obiri of Kenya learned patience. Obiri ran with a large pack that went out quite slowly. Maegan Krifchin in her “cheetah outfit” led at 5K in 17:48. A large pack went through the half way split in 1:11:29. The top five would all record faster second halves, with a strong sense of patience and pace. With a mile to go Obiri had waited long enough, and sprinted away from a trio of competitors. She zipped around the last mile in 5:00, earning a 12-second victory in 2:21:38.

After the race, Obiri was asked whether she was surprised by her victory. She answered: “I was feeling like my body was ready and everything was ready. And I said to myself, I can’t do it in front. If I can just wait . . . wait . . . because my coach told me that the marathon is about patience. So, I tried to be patient until the right time.”

Asked about her patience vs. Kipchoge in the men’s race: “When it comes to running a marathon, anything can happen. It’s a long, long way and it was a strong field, and anyone was there to win. You come to the race prepared to race. Everyone comes to the race prepared to win, not just Eliud.”

Amane Beriso of Ethiopia, who won Valencia and an Ethiopian national record in 2:14:58, was second in 2:21:50. Lonah Salpeter of Israel was third in 2:21:57. Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia, who took a tumble in the final miles, got up and finished fourth in 2:22:00.

Emma Bates of Boulder, CO was fifth and top American, running her best marathon ever, in 2:22:10. (Only Shalane Flanagan 2:22:04 in 2014, has run faster in Boston among American women.)

Talking to the media after the race, Bates was asked about training on a replica course. She said, “Yeah, so me and my four teammates ran the same course out in Boulder, so we were able to really simulate the downhills, and I think that’s what helped me the most, the downhills, just to be able to make sure that the quads would be able to take that beating and then be able to hit the uphill like we did.”

On placing herself in the first pack: “Yeah, that wasn’t the plan at all; my coach really wanted me to focus on that second pack and to let the top girls battle it out, and then pounce in the end. But I just felt so good the whole time and I got to Mile 20 and was still in the lead, and I was looking at my coach who was at Mile 20 and I was just like ‘I don’t know, I guess I’m in the front,’ and he was like ‘just go for it, just go for it,’ and so instincts just kind of kicked in and that’s where I was. It just felt right today.”

American Aliphine Tuliamuk of Flagstaff, AZ, was second American and eleventh overall, and had a personal best of 2:24:37. Nell Rojas of Boulder, CO was third American in 2:24:51 and also had a personal best. Sara Hall of Flagstaff, AZ turned 40 on Saturday and gave herself a birthday present of top master and fourth American, in 2:25:48.

The women’s elite field was huge and ran extremely strong, with the top twenty women running sub 2:29.

Marcel Hug of Switzerland simply lived up to his “Silver Bullet” nickname and set a Boston Marathon record of 1:17:06. It’s a world record, but not, as the Boston course is ineligible due to its net downhill course.

Asked about his victory, Hug said: “I’m just so happy with the race today. It was difficult in these conditions, especially with the rain, but I’m happy I was prepared for rain. Everything went perfect.”

On keeping up his pace: “I just tried to go fast from the beginning with the first downhill. After the downhills I was alone and tried to keep my pace as good as possible and go as fast as possible. It’s incredible in these conditions, with headwinds, crosswinds and rain, to do a time like this. For me it’s incredible.”

Susannah Scaroni of Urbana, IL won her first Boston Marathon in her ninth finish. Her time was a scorching 1:41:45, despite having to stop to fix her wheel in Natick. After the race she talked to the media.

On having to fix her wheel in Natick: “This course is pretty bumpy . . . especially, well mostly all of it . . . and my right wheel came loose. I had a kit with me, so I pulled over and tightened it as quickly as I could and got back into the race. I just hoped I could maybe maintain a gap, but that’s exactly what happened. I’m so happy it didn’t get loose again.”

On the race: “So I carry an allen key for situations like that, pulled over, tightened it as quickly as I could and just got back to as fast a pace as I could, similar to Marcel.”

How it feels to get a victory: ” . . . the Boylston crowds were amazing . . . I love being here and I always try to go as fast as I can, so I’m just really happy after this.”

26,598 finished the 127th running of the Boston Marathon. It was 49 degrees with damp conditions, wet roads, and on and off downpours. Your photographers didn’t care (actually not us, but the cameras) for the downpours, but it was so much better than 2018.

Full Results

Top Women

  1. 2:21:38 Hellen Obiri, 33, Kenya
  2. 2:21:50 Amane Beriso, 31, Ethiopia
  3. 2:21:57 Lonah Salpeter, 34, Israel
  4. 2:22:00 Ababel Yeshaneh, 31, Ethiopia
  5. 2:22:10 Emma Bates, 30, Boulder, CO
  6. 2:23:25 Nazret Weldu, 33, Eritrea
  7. 2:24:12 Angela Tanui, 30, Kenya
  8. 2:24:30 Hiwot Gebremaryam, 27, Ethiopia
  9. 2:24:33 Mary Ngugi, 34, Kenya
  10. 2:24:34 Gotytom Gebreslase, 28, Ethopia
  11. 2:24:37 Aliphine Tuliamuk, 34, Flagstaff, AZ
  12. 2:24:44 Joyciline Jepkosgei, 29, Kenya
  13. 2:24:49 Viola Cheptoo, 34, Kenya
  14. 2:24:51 Nell Rojas, 35, Boulder, CO
  15. 2:24:58 Nienke Brinkman, 29, Netherlands
  16. 2:25:07 Celestine Chepchirchir, 27, Kenya
  17. 2:25:48 Sara Hall, 40, Flagstaff, AZ
  18. 2:27:18 Desiree Linden, 39, Charlevoix, MI
  19. 2:28:12 Vibian Chepkirui 28, Kenya
  20. 2:28:45 Annie Frisbie, 26, Hopkins, MN
  21. 2:30:14 Atsede Baysa, 36, Ethiopia
  22. 2:30:52 Anna Rohrer, 26, Carmel, IN
  23. 2:31:08 Sydney Devore, 31, Ferndale, MI
  24. 2:31:19 Maggie Montoya, 27, Boulder, CO
  25. 2:31:32 Anne-Marie Blaney, 29, Rochester ills, MI
  26. 2:32:46 Maegan Krifchin, 35, Marietta, GA
  27. 2:33:53 Dakotah Lindwurm, 27, St Francis, MN
  28. 2:33:57 Erka Kemp, 28, Allston, MA
  29. 2:34:30 Savanah Berry, 27, Orem, UT
  30. 2:34:35 Laura Thweatt, 34, Superior, CO

Top Men

  1. 2:05:54 Evans Chebet, 34, Kenya
  2. 2:06:04 Gabriel Geay, 26, Tanzania
  3. 2:06:06 Benson Kipruto, 32, Kenya
  4. 2:08:01 Albert Korir, 29, Kenya
  5. 2:08:35 Zouhair Talbi, 28, Morocco
  6. 2:09:23 Eliud Kipchoge, 38, Kenya
  7. 2:09:44 Scott Fauble, 31, Flagstaff, AZ
  8. 2:09:46 Hassan Chahdi, 33, France
  9. 2:10:04 John Korir, 26, Kenya
  10. 2:10:17 Matthew McDonald, 29. Cambridge, MA
  11. 2:10:25 Conner Mantz, 26, Provo, UT
  12. 2:10:33 CJ Albertson, 29, Fresno, CA
  13. 2:10:52 Nico Montanez, 29, Mammoth Lakes, CA
  14. 2:11:26 Shura Kitata, 26, Ethiopia
  15. 2:11:50 Andualem Belay, 31, Ethiopia
  16. 2:12:22 Hendrick Pfeiffer, 30, Germany
  17. 2:13:27 JP Flavin, 24, Rochester Hills, MI
  18. 2:13:57 Turner Wiley, 30, Issaquah, WA
  19. 2:14:08 Isaac Mpofu, 34, Zimbawbe
  20. 2:14:13 Chad Hall, 34, San Diego, CA
  21. 2:14:27 Colin Mickow, 33, Oswego, IL
  22. 2:14:37 Mark Korir, 34, Kenya
  23. 2:16:06 Ben True, 37, West Lebanon, NH
  24. 2:16:25 Connor Weaver, 27, Lewisville, TX
  25. 2:17:05 Jonas Hampton, 34, Newtonville, MA
  26. 2:17:55 Ian Butler, 31, Lakewood, CO
  27. 2:18:04 Edward Mulder, 30, Boston, MA
  28. 2:18:23 Joseph Whelan, 32, Webster, NY
  29. 2:20:08 Zachary Ornelas, 31, Ann Arbor, MI
  30. 2:20:20 Sam Chelanga, 38, Colorado Springs, CO

Top Wheelchair Women

  1. 1:41:45 Susannah Scaroni, 31, Urbana, IL
  2. 1:46:55 Madison De Rozario, 29, Australia
  3. 1:47:04 Wakako Tsuchida, 48, Japan

Top Wheelchair Men

  1. 1:17:06 Marcel Hug, 37, Switzerland
  2. 1:27:45 Daniel Romanchuk, 24, Mt Airy, MD
  3. 1:28:35 Jetze Plat, 31, Netherlands
Emma Bates of Boulder, CO runs a personal best of 2:22:10. At 40K she was on the heel of the leaders. She finished 5th and top American.
Game time, 4-woman lead pack is fronted by Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia, Hellen Obiri of Kenya, Lonah Salpeter of Israel, and mostly hidden Amane Beriso of Ethiopia.
Training partners Benson Kipruto and Evans Chebet of Kenya share the lead at 40km over Gabriel Geay of Tanzania. Chebet would win his second consecutive Boston Marathon. Geay would pass Kipruto for second place. Chebet won in 2:05:54.
Then there were three, and way out front, Benson Kipruto and Evans Chebet of Kenya, with Gabriel Geay of Tanzania at 40K. Chebet repeated as Boston Marathon champ in 2:05:54.
Albert Korir of Kenya was fourth in 2:08:01.
Zouhair Talbi of Morocco was fifth in his marathon debut in 2:08:35
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya at 40KM. Kipchoge had won 12 of 14 marathons, but placed sixth in 2:09:23.
Scott Fauble of Flagstaff, AZ charges towards the finish, finishing in 2:09:44 and first American.
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya was sixth in 2:09:23.
Nazret Weldu of Eritrea was sixth in 2:23:25.
Hiwot Gebremaryam of Ethiopia was eighth in 2:24:30.
Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia gets fluid at the final aid station on her way to tenth overall in 2:24:34.
Aliphine Tuliamuk of Flagstaff AZ charges towards a personal best of 2:24:37. She was second American.
Aliphine Tuliamuk of Flagstaff, AZ charges up the hill before Kenmore Square. Aliphine ran a PB of 2:24:37 to place eleventh and second American.
Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya was 12th in 2:24:44.
Nico Montanez of Mammoth Lakes, CA was thirteenth in 2:10:52. Nico was fifth American.
Nell Rojas of Boulder, CO earns a personal best of 2:24:51. She placed 14th and third American.
Nienke Brinkman of Netherlands was 15th in 2:24:58.
Hendrik Pfeiffer of Germany was 16th in 2:12:22.
Sara Hall of Flagstaff, AZ was top master, fourth American and 17th overall in 2:25:48.
JP Flavin of Rochester Hills, MI was 17th in 2:13:27 and was sixth American.
Des Linden of Charlevoix, MI runs 2:27:18, fifth American and 18th American.
Annie Frisbie of Hopkins, MN was 20th in 2:28:45. Annie was sixth American and the final sub 2:29 woman in the extraordinary field.
Anna Rohrer of Carmel, IN runs 2:30:52 from the open field.
Sydney Devore of Ferndale, MI ran a personal best of 2:31:08 and was 23rd.
Jonas Hampton of Newtonville, MA was 25th in 2:17:05.
Maegan Krifchin of Marietta, GA was 26th in 2:32:46.
Erika Kemp of Alston, MA was 28th in 2:33:57 in her marathon debut. Erika became the fastest American-born black marathoner.
Edna Kiplagat of Kenya runs with Laura Thweatt of Superior, CO. Edna was second master and 31st in 2:34:40. Laura was 30th in 2:34:35.
Fernando Cabada of Aurora, CO was top master in 2:23:01.
Carmen Hussar of Canada was tops in the 45-49 in 2:45:01, and was fourth master overall.
The only 717 area code runners we saw were Fred Joslyn of Boiling Springs (white and blue top #2558) and Cem Aslan #1487 of Camp Hill, PA.
Thomas Bailey of Michigan races with Meaghan Murray of Baltimore who did a 2:47:10 to place 60th.

Categories: Race Coverage

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