This year’s Boston Marathon has been won by two runners from Kenya — both first time winners.
Diana Kipyokei, 27, took out the women’s race in a time of 2 hours 24 minutes 45 seconds. Benson Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race, clocking in at 2 hours, 9 minutes and 51 seconds.
It was Kipyokei’s first time running the Boston Marathon, which attracts an average of 30,000 runners each year, and in 2021, celebrated its 125th year.
“I’m very happy,” Kipyokei told Boston’s local news channel WBZ4 through a translator following her win.
“Yes, I was looking over my shoulder to check where they are,” she added, referring to the other runners.
According to sports reporter, Victor Mather at the New York Times, Kipyokei was running against many more accomplished runners, including veteran Edna Kiplagat, also from Kenya, who was a pre-race favourite and a two-time world champion, as well as a previous New York and Boston Marathon winner.
On Monday’s race in Boston, she surged away from the rest of the competitors after she reached the 29 kilometre mark, only to be caught up to by former world cross-country champion, Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia, a while later.
At roughly the 39th kilometre mark, Kipyokei broke apart to take the lead. Edna Kiplagat finished second, with Mary Ngugi third and Monicah Ngige fourth.
This year’s race attracted 18,252 competitors from across the world. Last year’s race was held virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Runners were invited to complete a series of virtual events and activities through the month of September in an effort to bring the real life Boston Marathon experience to competitors around the world.