Olympic champ Jepchirchir wins fiftieth girls’s Boston Marathon | Sports

BOSTON (AP) — Reigning Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir capped the celebration of a half-century of ladies within the Boston Marathon with a end to prime all of them.

The 28-year-old Kenyan gained a see-saw dash down the stretch on Monday, when the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon returned to its conventional spring begin for the primary time for the reason that onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

On the fiftieth anniversary of the primary official girls’s race, Jepchirchir traded locations with Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh eight occasions within the remaining mile earlier than pulling forward for good on Boylston Street and ending in 2 hours, 21 minutes, 1 second.

“I was feeling she was strong. I pushed it,” mentioned Jepchirchir, who earned $150,000 and the normal gilded olive wreath to go together with her Olympic gold medal and 2021 New York City Marathon title. “I fell behind. But I didn’t lose hope.”

Evans Chebet accomplished the Kenyan sweep, breaking away from Gabriel Geay with about 4 miles to go to complete in 2:06:51 for his first main marathon victory. The 2019 winner Lawrence Cherono was second, 30 seconds again, defending champion Benson Kipruto was third, and Geay fell again to fourth.

Daniel Romanchuk of Champaign, Illinois, gained his second profession wheelchair title in 1:26:58. Switzerland’s Manuela Schar gained her second straight Boston crown and fourth total, ending in 1:41:08.

Sharing a Patriots’ Day weekend with the Red Sox residence opener — town’s different sporting ceremony of spring — greater than 28,000 runners returned to the streets from Hopkinton to Copley Square six months after a smaller and socially distanced occasion that was the one fall race in its 126-year historical past.

Fans waved Ukrainian flags in help of the runners whose 26.2-mile run Monday was the simplest a part of their journey. Forty-four Ukrainian residents had registered for the race; solely 11 began, and all completed.

“I decided to come here and show that Ukrainians are strong, we’re fighting and we hope peace will come soon,” mentioned Dmytro Molchanov, a Ukrainian who lives in New York.

“It’s really tough, basically, being here while all my family, my friends and Ukrainians are fighting over there for peace in my country, in Europe and the world overall,” mentioned Molchanov, who completed in 2:39:20. “When it was really tough I tried not to give up and tried pushing, kind of fight with myself the way Ukrainians are fighting against Russia right now.”

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been disinvited in response to the invasion. Ukrainians who have been unable to make it to Boston have been supplied a deferral or refund.

“Whatever they want to do, they can do,” Boston Athletic Association President Tom Grilk mentioned. “Run this year, run next year. You want a puppy? Whatever. There is no group we want to be more helpful to.”

Jepchirchir and Yeshaneh, who was third in New York final fall, spent a lot of the morning working shoulder to shoulder — and even nearer: Just after the 25-kilometer marker, the Ethiopian’s eyes wandered from the course and he or she drifted into Jepchirchir.

Yeshaneh reached out to apologize, and the 2 clasped one another’s arms as they continued on.

“In running, we understand each other and we maybe somebody came and bumps, but it’s OK,” Jepchirchir mentioned. “It was not rivalism; it was just an accident.”

Beaten, Yeshaneh completed 4 seconds again. Kenya’s Mary Ngugi completed third for the second time in six months, following her podium in October after the one hundred and twenty fifth race was delayed, canceled and delayed once more.

About 20 males stayed collectively — with American CJ Albertson main for a lot of the best way — earlier than Chebet and Geay broke from the pack popping out of Heartbreak Hill. Chebet pulled away a few miles later.

“We had communicated earlier, all of us. We wanted to keep running as a group,” mentioned Chebet, who completed fourth in London final fall. “I observed that my counterparts were nowhere near me and that gave me the motivation.”

This race marked the fiftieth anniversary of Nina Kuscsik’s victory within the first official girls’s race. (But not the primary girl to complete: That honor belongs to Bobbi Gibb, who first ran in 1966 among the many unofficial runners generally known as bandits.)

At Wellesley College, the ladies’s faculty close to the midway level, the long-lasting “scream tunnel” was again after the pandemic-induced absence — and louder than ever. One spectator in Wellesley held an indication that learn “50 Years Women Running Boston,” together with names of the eight who broke the gender barrier in 1972.

Five of the unique pioneers returned for this 12 months’s celebration, together with Valerie Rogosheske, who completed sixth in ’72; she served because the honorary starter for the ladies’s elite area and ran the race together with her daughters, who held up banners marking the anniversary as they crossed the end.

Rogosheske, who wore Bib No. 1972, mentioned on the beginning line that she had been planning to cover within the bushes and run as a bandit 50 years in the past till girls obtained the go-ahead a number of weeks earlier than the race.

“It’s a reminder that we’ve got it pretty easy,” mentioned 2018 winner Des Linden, who completed thirteenth on Monday. “Fifty years ago, they were breaking barriers and doing the hard part.

“It’s really not lost on me that there’s 126 years of race history here, and we’re ‘Rah! Rah!’-ing 50,” she said. “But you possibly can’t look again, you look ahead.”


Associated Press Writers Jennifer McDermott and Collin Binkley and AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower contributed to this story.

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