Boston Marathon makes springtime return

30,000 participants run in 126th event

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The 2022 Boston Marathon returned to its traditional mid-April spot after the previous two years were derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thirty-thousand participants congregated before dawn on Monday in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, for the start of the race.

Crowds lined the 26.2 mile (42.16 kilometres) course to cheer on the athletes running in the 126th race, which was held six months after a socially distanced field ran in the autumn.

Evans Chebet of Kenya won the men's competition, finishing with a time of 2 hours 6 minutes and 51 seconds for his first major marathon win after victories in Buenos Aires in 2019 and Valencia in 2020. Last year's winner, Benson Kipruto, finished third.

In the women's elite field, Olympic gold medallist Peres Jepchirchir pulled away from Ababel Yeshaneh in the final metres to finish in 02:21:02. Yeshaneh crossed the finish line on Boylston Street four seconds later.

This was Jepchirchir's fifth consecutive marathon win, a streak that dates back to 2019 and includes the 2021 New York City Marathon.

Boston Athletic Association, which hosts the race, rescinded the invites of Russian and Belarusian athlete's for this year's competition in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The BAA offered registered Ukrainians unable to participate in the race a refund or an option to defer for a future year.

“We believe that running is a global sport, and as such, we must do what we can to show our support to the people of Ukraine,” BAA chief executive Tom Grilk said.

The event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the women's division.

But in 1966 Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon when she ran as an unofficial participant, as women at the time were prohibited from competing.

Valerie Rogosheske, who finished sixth in the first official women's race in 1972, was named the honorary starter for the women's elite field.

The Boston Marathon was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the event's first cancellation since it began in 1897. The 2021 event was postponed and then rescheduled in October.

Updated: April 18, 2022, 7:37 PM