Results and Highlights From The 2023 Boston Marathon
The 2023 Boston Marathon, touted as the fastest and most decorated lineup in the race’s history, lived up to the hype. In its 127th year, the world’s oldest annual marathon saw athletes turn out great performances from Hopkinton to Boylston.
Temperatures were in the low teens with rain that continued to pick up throughout the day. Here are the highlights from the Boston Marathon.
A major upset highlights the men’s race
Heading into the men’s elite race, all eyes were on two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, who lowered his own world record last autumn. But another champion emerged in Boston on Monday.
After winning two of the World Marathon Majors last year, Evans Chebet tapped into his experience on the course to defend his Boston Marathon title.
In the early sections of the race, the field keyed off the world record-holder, who dictated most of the pacing effort through halfway. By halfway, led by Kipchoge in 1:02:19, the top group included nine runners battling humidity and a surge of rain between Hopkinton and Boston. At that point, the course record was off the table as the pack was on pace to finish between 2:04:37 and 2:04:39, well off the 2:03:02 course record set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011.
In the remaining 10 kilometres, Chebet, Geay, Kipruto battled back and forth for the lead until Chebet pulled away for the last time with around 1K to go. After winning the 2022 New York City Marathon and the 2022 Boston Marathon, the Kenyan standout claimed another victory in 2:05:54. Geay followed for second in 2:06:04, and Kipruto finished third in 2:06:06.
After falling off the pace around the Newton Hills, Kipchoge held on for sixth place in 2:09:23.
Hellen Obiri wins first World Marathon Major title
In just her second marathon ever, Obiri, from Kenya, stunned with a victory at the Boston Marathon. The former track star crushed the competition with a winning time of 2:21:38, 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Amane Beriso.
It was a last-minute decision for Obiri to race Boston, but the commitment paid off with her biggest road victory to date.
The race kicked off with a large pack navigating the early sections together. The podium contenders started to emerge heading into the halfway point of the race as a group of 11 women pulled ahead. Led by Angela Tanui, the pack included pre-race favorites Amane Beriso, Gotytom Gebreselase, and Obiri. They blazed through half-way between 1:11:29 and 1:11:30.
Notably, Emma Bates walked the talk on Monday after stating her goal of chasing victory during the pre-race press conference. The 2022 world championship finalist was a prominent presence in the later stages of the race, leading the pack at 25K, 30K, and mile 32K.
The biggest break in the race came between 38K and 40K, where Obiri, Beriso, Ababel Yeshaneh, Lonah Salpeter and Bates pulled ahead.
As the group closed in on the finish line, Obiri used her legendary track speed to push her rivals to their limit. In the final kilometre, the two-time 5,000-meter world champion kicked to victory on Boylston Street.
Obiri’s win improves on her debut performance at the 2022 New York City Marathon, where she finished sixth after making a transition from the track to the roads. In the last year, Obiri has been training with the On Athletics Club in Boulder, Colorado.
Behind Obiri, Beriso and Lonah Salpeter completed the podium in 2:21:50 and 2:21:57, respectively. Bates earned a fifth-place finish as the top American in 2:22:10.
Marcel Hug breaks his own Boston course record
After attacking the majority of the race solo, Hug soared into the finish line on Boylston Street. The five-time Paralympian won the men’s wheelchair title in 1:17:06 and improved on his own course record by almost a minute. By shattering the time, Hug earned a bonus of $50,000 on top of the $25,000 prize for winning the race.
Susannah Scaroni wins third World Marathon Majors title
Around the 14K, Scaroni’s lead was put in jeopardy for a moment when she had to adjust her wheel on the course. After doing the mechanical work herself, the 5,000-meter world record-holder restarted her race.
The repair proved to be a minor setback for Scaroni, who extended her lead through the remaining kilometres. At one point, she was three minutes ahead of the chase pack.
Her front-running effort paid off when she reached Boylston Street, where she won the women’s wheelchair title in 1:41:45. The win is Scaroni’s third consecutive victory in the World Marathon Majors series. Last fall, she won the Chicago and New York City Marathon a year after she was struck by a car in training.
Nonbinary division debuts in Boston
For the first time in the race’s 127-year history, the Boston Marathon hosted a nonbinary division. The winner, Kae Ravichandran was the first athlete across the finish line in 2:38:57. Cal Calamia, the 2022 Chicago Marathon runner-up, finished second in 2:51:00. Matthew Powers placed third in 2:54:54.
Ravichandran has been an outspoken advocate for nonbinary inclusion in the running community. Last autmn, she was part of a coalition of nonbinary runners who wrote an open letter urging the trail and ultra running community to take steps toward gender inclusivity.
“Inclusion in athletic spaces allows us to really cherish ourselves and to be the best version of ourselves we can be,” Ravichandran told Trail Runner.
Golden retrievers rally in Spencer’s honor
Since 2015, Boston Marathon runners looked forward to a mid-race greeting from Spencer, a golden retriever who sat with his owners on the course. Over the years, the pup became an icon of the Boston Marathon. In February, he died at the age of 13 after battling multiple bouts of cancer.
On Monday, his memory was honored by several golden retrievers, who sat along Route 135 in Ashland, his old spot. The dogs wore “Golden Strong” bandanas as a tribute to Spencer, who wore a “Boston Strong” flag.