125th BAA Marathon: Kenya's Diana Kipyogei Wins Boston Marathon, Kenya Dominates / Kiplagat Sets Masters Record October 11th, 2021

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Kipyogei_Diana-FH-Boston21.jpgDiana Kipyogei wins 2021 BAA Boston in her first Abbott WMMajors race! photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

The 125th Boston Marathon was held today, and for the first time ever, the Boston marathon was held in the fall of the year.

The women's race was conservative, with a huge pack working and building the pace, and negative splitting the course, as the pretenders fell off the pace. David Hunter captures all of this.

Specatators-Start-Boston21.jpgSpectators are back in Boston! photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

David Hunter, a long time senior writer, and TAFWA 2019 James Dunaway award winner, wrote two amazing pieces for us on the elite races at the historic 2021 BAA Boston Marathon. Dave spent the day in the Media center for the Boston marathon as he has done for several years, writing for @runblogrun.

We thank Dave for this piece and know you will enjoy his view of Boston 125.

125th BAA Marathon

Kenya's Diana Kipyogei Wins Boston Marathon

Kenya Dominates / Kiplagat Sets Masters Record October 11th, 2021

In the days leading up to the 125th running of the Boston Marathon, there was substantial speculation about who the favorites might be in the women's professional race and how the race might unfold. Could the highly-decorated Edna Kiplagat win her 2nd Boston laurel wreath? Or at age 41 might the 2-time world champion be vulnerable to the upstart younger athletes? How might the two leading American competitors - 2017 champion Desiree Linden and Jordan Hasay, whose 2:20:57 ranks #3 on the USA all-time list - fare against the eastern Africans? All of this was scrambled by the condensed staging of a handful of the Abbott World Marathon Majors in recent weeks which had the potential of diluting talent in any number of races and/or tempt elite racers to consider ill-advised doubling. It would all be answered on race day.

As the race got underway the lead pack of about 15 athletes crossed the 5K marker in 17:36 with American athlete Susanna Sullivan at the tip of the spear. At 5 miles crossed in just over 28 minutes, former Boston champion Edna Kiplagat had moved up to the lead as the two American favorites, Linden and Hasay, dropped back. The pack, still sizeable, seemed comfortable in sharing the lead as first former Northern Arizona athlete Nell Rojas, then Mare Dibaba, followed by Workenesh Edesa each took their turns at the helm.

Unlike the men's race which faced mid-race chase efforts, the women's championship race reflected patience and caution as no one was inclined to make any early moves. The pace continued to dawdle as 5K splits hovered in the mid-17 minute range. The race began in earnest in Lower Newton Falls around the 25K marker as Kenya's Diana Kipyogei went to the front and picked up the pace, covering the next 5 kilos - featuring a nasty uphill - in 16:53, the first sub-17 5K clocking of the race. Kipyogei's move in the 18th mile separated the contenders from the pretenders. The 27 year old Kenyan continued to tighten the screw through the Newton hills as the next 5K's [to the 35K marker] was covered in 16:29. Kipyogei and Ethiopia's Netsanet Gudeta were elbow-to-elbow as they passed the Chestnut Reservoir heading down to Cleveland Circle, followed by the Kenyan trio of Mary Ngugi, Ngige Wanjuhi, and the seasoned veteran Kiplagat. By 40K, Kipyogei had effectively disposed of Gudeta, now 37 seconds behind. But a new threat was emerging as Kiplagat moved into 2nd, only 27 seconds back and gaining on the leader.

Kipyogei_Diana-FH1-Boston21.jpgDiana Kipyogei kept her cool and won Boston on her first attempt in Beantown, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

Unshakened, Kipyokei kept her cool over the final 2 kilometers and finished strong, crossing the finish line in 2:24.45. Kiplagat crossed 24 seconds later for 2nd, her clocking of 2:25.09 setting a new Boston Marathon Master's record. As was the case in the men's race, the eastern African women demonstrated Top Ten domination as Kenya went 1-2-3-4-10 and Ethiopia placed 5-7-8- 9. USA's Nell Rojas ran a gutty race to finish 6th in 2:27.:12. The American favorites proved to be non-factors.

Rojas_Nell-Boston21.jpgNell Rojas (looks like no sponsor) was top American women at Boston in 2021, finished 6th, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

In the post-race mixed zone session, the new champion displayed humility and gratitude for her Boston victory. 2017 Boston victor and 2-time world marathon champion Kiplagat cited focus and dedication as the keys to her world class longevity. Rojas, the sole American woman in the top ten, mixed humor and appreciation in acknowledging her father, Ric, who serves as her coach. Laughter resulted when Rojas, a former Bolder Boulder and Grandma's Marathon champion, offered a light-hearted compliment to Coach Ric and his friends, "I like hanging out with the old guys." / Dave Hunter /

Rojas_Nell-R1a-Boston21.jpgNell Rojas, told the media that she "liked hanging with the old guys.", photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

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