Peres Jepchirchir, a 28-year-old runner from Kenya, won the women's race in the 126th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday and made history in the process. She took home the win with an unofficial time of 2:21:02 and is now the first athlete to ever win an Olympic marathon gold medal, the New York Marathon and the Boston Marathon.
Jepchirchir finished just ahead of 30-year-old runner Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia, who finished with an unofficial time of 2:21:06. The two went back and forth down the stretch of the race and switched leads multiple times in the last mile of the race before Jepchirchir ran ahead and won, unofficially, by just four seconds.
On the men's side, Kenyan runner Evans Chebet finished first with an unofficial time of 2:06:51. Kenya runners came in second and third as well, with Lawrence Cherono in second with an unofficial time of 2:07:21 and Benson Kipruto -- who won the marathon last year -- with an official time of 2:07:27.
It was a relatively close race among multiple runners until the 21-mile mark when Chebet and Tanzania's Gabriel Geay separated ahead of the main group, according to CBS Boston. It stayed like that until Cherono and Kipruto applied the pressure with two miles left, as both former winners of the race wound up finishing within one minute of Chebet.
This year, the field was limited to 30,000 participants.
"As we look to return to the traditional Patriots' Day date for the first time since 2019 and allow for as many athletes to participate as safely as possible, we know that a fully vaccinated field is the appropriate requirement to implement," Tom Grilk, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Athletic Association, said.
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Boston Athletic Association announced anyone living in Russia or Belarus registered for the marathon will not be permitted to compete. Those who are Russian or Belarussian citizens, but do not live in either country, were permitted to compete, but not representing or displaying the flag of either country.
The 26.2 mile race historically starts in Hopkinton, Mass.