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Boston Marathon 2024: Sisay Lemma wins first men’s race; Hellen Obiri claims second straight women’s title – The Athletic

Sisay Lemma ran a stunning race to win his first Boston Marathon (2:06:17), while Hellen Obiri triumphed to win her second straight title in the women’s race (2:22:37).

The Ethiopian runner had an impressive lead throughout most of the race when he took over the lead pack and hit the 5K marker at 14:21. Lemma kept up a blistering pace and was projected to finish at 2:00:06 after the 10K mark — a pace that would have broken the course record.

Although Lemma did not break the course record, he recorded the 10th-fastest time in race history and was proud of his win after not finishing the marathon in 2022. Lemma, 33, did not finish in two of his three prior Boston appearances and finished 30th in 2019.

“My plan was to break the course record, but it’s so hilly up and down and that made me tired a little bit,” Lemma said through an interpreter.

Lemma finished 41 seconds ahead of Mohamed Esa, who moved up from fourth over the final mile to finish second in 2:06:58. Evans Chebet, last year’s winner, finished third in 2:07:22.

Shortly after that, Obiri crossed the finish line to win the women’s race with a similar time as her debut mark of 2:21:38.

The women’s competition featured a unique situation of a lead pack of 20 runners, including Obiri, through the first 13.1 miles at 1:12:33. Shortly after the halfway mark, Emma Bates, who was often at the front of the pack with Obiri, took a three-second lead on the women’s field.

After 20 miles, there were still 15 women in the lead pack, which the Boston Marathon Pro X account called “unprecedented.”

Obiri, Edna Kiplagat and Sharon Lokedi broke away from the group after 25 miles, and Obiri and Kiplagat battled for first in the last few miles from the finish line.

Lokedi finished second (2:22:45) and Kiplagat in third at 2:23:21.

Marcel Hug breaks own course record in men’s wheelchair win

Marcel Hug captured his seventh Boston Marathon. (Photo: Joseph Prezioso / Getty Images)

Marcel Hug crushed his own Boston Marathon record en route to winning the men’s wheelchair race for a seventh time.

Hug recorded an unofficial race time of 1:15:33, more than a minute faster than his race-record time of 1:17:06, which he set last year. His finish in 2023 broke a course record he previously set in 2017.

On Monday, the Switzerland native beat his record despite crashing into a barrier about 18 miles into the race.

“I just had too much … pressure on the steering, so it’s my fault,” Hug said of his crash. His left hand was scratched during the crash.

Hug took back the olive wreath last year after withdrawing from the 2022 Boston Marathon less than an hour before the race, citing medical reasons.

Nicknamed the “Silver Bullet” because of the silver helmet he wears, Hug has also won six gold medals at the Paralympic Games, including four in Tokyo in 2021, while representing Switzerland.

Eden Rainbow-Cooper wins women’s wheelchair race

Eden Rainbow-Cooper won the women’s wheelchair race by 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Photo: Paul Rutherford / Getty Images)

Eden Rainbow-Cooper of Great Britain won the women’s wheelchair race with an unofficial race time of 1:35:11. Monday marked only her second time racing in Boston, and she broke down in tears after crossing the finish line.

“I only started two years ago … I can’t believe it,” she told ESPN.

Rainbow-Cooper beat 2024 favorite Manuela Schar by 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Rainbow-Cooper entered the marathon without sponsors and raised money over a year ago to be able to afford her racing wheelchair.

This story will be updated with additional race winners throughout the day.

(Top photo of Sisay Lemma: Paul Rutherford / Getty Images)