A back-to-back champion and a new winner: the 128th Boston Marathon winners

Kenya’s Hellen Obiri and Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma hold the Boston Marathon trophy at the finish line. Photo Courtesy of 2024 Getty Images.

By Allyn Tucker and Chloe Wojtanik

Boston University News Service

Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia was the first to cross the yellow and blue finish line on Boylston street, capturing his first Boston Marathon win in the men’s heat. 

The 33-year-old led the marathon from start to finish and finished with an impressive time of 2:06:17, good for the 10th fastest time in the 128-year history of the Boston Marathon. Lemma ran the first half of the course in 1:00:19, 99 seconds faster than Geoffrey Mutai’s course record pace in 2011. 

“I decided that I wanted to start fast early,” Lemma said as he fell to the ground right after breaking the tape at the finish line. 

Mohamed Esa (2:06:58) finished the race in second place as he put the pressure on Lemme towards the end of the race by cutting his lead down to just under a minute. Two-time defending champion Evans Chebet was not far behind the two Ethiopian runners, running the course in a time of 2:07:22, which was good for third place. John Korir (2:07:40) and Albert Korir (2:07:47) rounded out the top five of the men’s heat of the 2024 Boston Marathon. 

Taking home her second consecutive Boston Marathon on top of a win in New York late last year, Hellen Obiri just can’t be slowed down. Obiri, winner of the women’s race, ran a time of 2:22:37, pulling away from fellow runners with just over a mile remaining. 

Participants ran a very tight women’s race this year, with a pack of 20 women running in front of the rest of the race for around 13.1 miles. The pack shrank slowly, with around 15 remaining at 20 miles and only 3 remaining at 25 miles. The frontrunners were unusually close in this edition of the marathon, adding suspense and excitement to the finish line. Despite strong competition, Obiri pulled ahead to continue her impressive marathon record, beating out Sharon Lokedi in the final stretch of the race.

Obiri, from Kenya, is a two-time Olympic silver medalist, running the 5,000 meter in Rio and Tokyo, and has medaled at the World Championships in Athletics in the 1,500 meter, 5,000 meter, and 10,000 meter categories. Her first place finish in the 2023 Boston Marathon was the result of only her second marathon race, beginning a new era of success for the already-accomplished athlete. 

Adding to the celebration, Obiri is the first back-to-back winner of the women’s Boston Marathon since Catherine Nedreba in 2004 and 2005. She becomes only the sixth woman to win back-to-back marathons since the race officially sanctioned women in 1972, joining a short list of impressive women.

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