Rita Jeptoo became the first woman ever to run the Boston Marathon in under 2:20. The 33 year old Kenyan had previously won in Boston in 2006 and 2013. Only compatriot Catherine Ndereba has won more Boston Marathons (4). Another Kenyan, Margaret Okayo was the previous course record holder.
Hometown favourite Shalane Flanagan, set ab aggressive pace and the leading pack came through halfway in 1:09:28, already on pace to run about 2:19. But Flanagan’s faded badly on the aptly-named Heartbreak Hill.
Meanwhile Jeptoo took control at the top of the hill with a searing pace of her own in which she recorded impressive mile splits including 4:47 for the 24th mile. That was only 3 seconds slower than Meb Kefllzezhighi;s split for the same section. Jeptoo crossed the finish line in 2:18:57, taking her to fifth on the world all-time list.
Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia who has, twice finished second in New York City, was second again here with a PB of 2:19:59, and Mare Dibaba was third in 2:20:35, while Jemima Jelagat Sumgong was fourth in 2:20:41.
“I was not expecting to run fast like today, but I’m happy,” said Jeptoo. “I was surprised because the race was like on fire! I managed to think of all my training. Last year you saw nobody pushing because they’re looking for me, and everybody follows me. But today I pushed all day.”
Jeptoo and Keflezighi each won $150,000 for their victories; Jeptoo got a bonus of $25,000 for the course record.
Flanagan finished seventh in 2:22:02, the fastest-ever US time on the Boston course, and told reporters she would keep coming back until she won.
Go to Kenya Athletics Page