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2021 Boston Marathon
|2021 Boston Marathon|
|Venue||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Date||October 11, 2021|
|Men||Benson Kipruto (2:09:51)|
|Women||Diana Kipyokei (2:24:45)|
|Wheelchair men||Marcel Hug (1:18:11)|
|Wheelchair women||Manuela Schär (1:35:21)|
The elite men's marathon was won by Benson Kipruto and the elite women's marathon by Diana Kipyokei, both of Kenya, in 2:09:51 and 2:24:45, respectively. The men's wheelchair race was won by Marcel Hug and the women's wheelchair race by Manuela Schär, both of Switzerland, in 1:18:11 and 1:35:21, respectively.
COVID-19 impact and protocols
After the planned 2020 edition of the race was canceled,[a] due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers moved the 2021 race from its traditional Patriots' Day date in April to Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples' Day in October. It was the first time that the Boston Marathon was run in the fall. The Boston event was one day after the 2021 Chicago Marathon, and multiple wheelchair racers chose to compete in both events.
Organizers also limited the field to 20,000 runners. Race entrants were required to provide proof of COVID vaccination or take an on-site COVID test yielding a negative result before the race. Participants were issued a bracelet to be worn through completion of the race, as proof of compliance. Runners were required to comply with local face masks requirements, and while using race transportation, but masks were not required during the marathon.
The marathon distance is officially 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi), as sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now known as World Athletics. The start is in the town of Hopkinton, and the first 6 miles (9.7 km) are downhill through Ashland and into the city of Framingham. Leaving Framingham, the runners enter the town of Natick, before passing through the "Scream Tunnel" at mile 12. This area is lined by young women from the nearby Wellesley College who request kisses from runners, a tradition that has been in place for more than 100 years. At mile 15, there is a large downhill section, followed by a 0.75-mile (1.21 km) climb at mile 16 crossing the Yankee Division Highway. The runners take a right turn onto Commonwealth Avenue in Newton before starting the first of the four Newton Hills.
The first hill is a steep 1,200-yard (1,100 m) climb, the second about 0.25 miles (0.40 km), the third a steep 800 yards (730 m) before the runners start the infamous "Heartbreak Hill" at just after mile 20. At half a mile long and with a 3.3% percent incline, it is not especially difficult, but due to the hill being 20 miles (32 km) into the race, it is still feared as the runners' legs are usually tired at this point. The course is mostly downhill to the end, and passes through Boston College before entering Cleveland Circle and Kenmore Square, where there are many spectators. The final mile has a slight incline, before it flattens off to finish on Boylston Street.
For the first time in Boston Marathon history, the elite men's race was started separately from the mass participation event. The event was won by Kenyan Benson Kipruto. CJ Albertson led the race in the early stages, before fading away; at the halfway point of the race, Albertson was over two minutes ahead of everyone else. Kipruto pulled away from the leading pack with 3 miles (4.8 km) to go in the race, on Beacon Street, and won by 49 seconds. Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu and Jemal Yimer finished second and third respectively. Colin Bennie was the top finishing American, in seventh place, and Albertson finished tenth overall.
The elite women's race was won by Kenyan Diana Kipyokei; it was the eighth time since 2000 that Kenyans had won both elite events. Kipyokei took the lead 19 miles (31 km) into the race. Fellow Kenyans Edna Kiplagat and Mary Ngugi finished second and third respectively. At the halfway point, there were 14 runners in the lead group, and eight of those ran negative splits. Nell Rojas was the best finishing American; she was sixth overall. 2018 winner Desiree Linden was ill during the race. Shalane Flanagan finished in a time of 2:40:34 as part of an attempt to finish the five active World Marathon Majors in 2021 in 42 days. The previous day in Chicago, she had finished in 2:46:39, and she had previously finished in 2:38:32 at Berlin and 2:35:04 at London.
The men's wheelchair race was won by Swiss athlete Marcel Hug. He was on a course record time, which would have earned him $50,000, until he took a wrong turn. Hug finished in a time of 01:18:11, seven seconds slower than the course record, which he had set in 2017. American Daniel Romanchuk finished second, seven minutes and 35 seconds behind Hug, and Ernst van Dyk was third overall.
The women's wheelchair race was won by Manuela Schär. Schär won the event by almost 15 minutes, and it was her third Boston Marathon victory. Schär took the lead early on, and by half distance, she was five minutes ahead of Tatyana McFadden, her nearest competitor. McFadden finished second overall.
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