Kenyans Kirui, Kiplagat win 121st Boston Marathon

"The marathon was a man's race in those days; women were considered too fragile to run it", she wrote in an essay for The New York Times 10 years ago.

Kirui outran Galen Rupp of the U.S.in an unofficial time of 2:09.36.

Kiplagat opened up a big lead heading into the dreaded Newton hills, and won in an official 2 hours, 21 minutes, 52 seconds.

Hasay became the fifth American woman to run 2:23 or below, joining Benoit, Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Linden and national record-holder Deena Kastor.

UCLA graduate Meb Keflezighi couldn't revive his 2014 magic, when he won the Boston Marathon a year after the deadly bombings. In his last competitive Boston run, he finished 13th in 2:17:00 despite pain in his quad muscles.

Kathrine Switzer was a few miles into her history-making run at the Boston Marathon on April 19, 1967, when Jock Semple, the co-director of the famous 26-mile race, suddenly appeared behind her and tried to shove her out of the competition.

Rose Chelimo of Bahrain finished second while American runner Jordan Hasay finished third on Monday.

Atsede Baysa is back to defend her women's title, but she will be joined in the field by another returning victor fresh off a Boston victory. Then, in December, Kenyan Rita Jeptoo was stripped of her 2014 title for failing a drug test and it was handed instead to Ethiopia's Buzunesh Deba.

"American distance running is looking good today", said sixth-place finisher Abdi Abdirahman, a Somali immigrant and Tucson resident who is a four-time Olympian.

Also running on Monday was Ben Beach, who completed the race for an unprecedented 50th time in a row.

Hasay stayed with the front pack of the world's leading runners throughout the morning, finishing barely a minute behind victor Edna Kiplagat of Kenya (2:21.52). The straight-line Boston course doesn't qualify for world records because of the possibility of a supportive tailwind like the one on Monday.

It's the first time ever that a woman has beaten the 1:30 mark. The old best for a woman in the wheelchair race was 1:34:06. Times, luckily, have changed and women make up a large percentage of marathon runners. One of them is 70-year-old Kathy Switzer, and her presence is provoking awe and appreciation.

  • Julie Sanders