The men’s race at the Boston Marathon on Monday was decided by a mere second, while the women’s winner ran away from the field.
Lawrence Cherono of Kenya and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, last year’s winner at the New York City Marathon, battled to the tape, bumping into each other at least once. It was Cherono who came out on top, with Desisa a stride behind. Kenneth Kipkemoi, another Kenyan who had been with them until the last few hundred yards, was third, nine seconds back.
Cherono, winner of the Amsterdam Marathon last year, finished in 2:07:57. He has also won marathons in Honolulu, Prague and Seville, but never one of the majors. The top American was Scott Fauble, in seventh.
The runner-up, Desisa, is a fan favorite in Boston. He won the marathon in 2013, the year of the bombing, and gave his medal back to the city to honor the victims. He won again in 2015, to great acclaim.
The men’s marathon was also decided by a second or less in 2000, when Elijah Lagat won, and 1988 when Ibrahim Hussein was the winner.
Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia ran away from the field in the women’s race, taking a big lead by the 12th mile, and hanging on for the victory. She finished in 2:23:31.
Degefa simply ran away from the lead pack, leading by three minutes by the 18-mile mark. Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, the 2017 winner and a two-time world champion, eventually took up the challenge and chased, and the gap slipped to two minutes, and then a minute. But Degefa hung on for the victory by 42 seconds.
Jordan Hasay of the United States, a former high school track phenom, was third, matching her finish in 2017. The defending champion, Des Linden, was fifth.
Degefa had run a 2:17:41 marathon in Dubai in January, the fourth fastest ever. But she had never run a marathon outside of the flat course in Dubai, so her ability to win a big hilly race like Boston was unproven.
Daniel Romanchuk, an American, won the push rim wheelchair event, becoming at 20, the youngest man to do so. His time was 1:21:36. Manuela Schar of Switzerland won the women’s event for her second title 1:34:19.