Athletics: Kenya's Benson Kipruto and Diana Kipyogei win Boston Marathon

Benson Kipruto of Kenya crossing the finish line to win the 125th Boston Marathon on Oct 11, 2021. PHOTO: AFP
Diana Kipyogei of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the women's division of the 125th Boston Marathon on Oct 11, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS, AFP) - Kenya's Benson Kipruto won the Boston Marathon on Monday (Oct 11) in 2hr 9min 51sec for his first major marathon title.

American C.J. Albertson set an aggressive early pace to lead the field by two minutes and 13 seconds through the first half but saw his head start disintegrate over hilly terrain after the 20-mile (32.2km) mark, as a tight pack overtook him.

Kipruto, who won the Prague Marathon in May, pulled away with less than 10 kilometres to go and had secured a commanding 41-second lead heading into the last mile of the 42.195km course, absorbing the cheers along Boylston Street as he broke the tape .

Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu and Jemal Yimer finished second and third, respectively.

Kenya's Diana Kipyogei won the women's race.

The 27-year-old moved clear of the field at around the 18-mile mark and held off a late challenge from veteran Edna Kiplagat to take the tape in 2hr 24min 45sec.

Kiplagat, the two-time world champion and Boston winner in 2017, finished in 2:25:09 while Mary Ngugi completed a Kenyan sweep in third.

Temperatures hovered around 60 deg F (15.6 deg C) as the professional men's and women's groups took off from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, under humid conditions for the 125th running of the world's oldest annual marathon.

Organisers pushed the race back from its usual April date due to the coronavirus pandemic and made other adjustments to the race, including capping participation at 20,000 entrants and requiring either a Covid-19 vaccine or proof of a negative test.

The change in date made for a tight autumn racing schedule, with the London Marathon pushed back from its usual April running to Oct 3 and the Chicago Marathon moving forward as planned to Oct 10.

The race was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

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