Wesley Korir won the Boston Marathon on Monday, while Sharon Cherop was victorious in the women’s race. Both runners are from Kenya, and both of them posted the slowest winning times since 1985.
Both the slow times and the Kenyan sweep came as no surprise. Temperatures rose into the 80s during the race, leading to the slower paces for Korir, the 19th Kenyan men’s winner in 22 years, and Cherop, the third Kenyan women’s winner in the last five years.
Last year, Geoffrey Mutai, also from Kenya, ran the fastest marathon in history (2 hours, three minutes, 2 seconds). This year, he was forced to drop out after about 18 miles due to cramps.
Korir set no records with his time of 2:12:40 this year, but he outpaced fellow Kenyans Levy Matebo (2:13:06) and Bernard Kipyego (2:13:13), who rounded out the top three.
Cherop had to out-sprint fellow Kenyan Jemima Jelagat Sumgong to win in an unofficial time of 2:31:50. It was the fifth year in a row that the women’s race finished in a sprint. Georgina Rono, also from Kenya, was third in 2:33:09.
One person apparently unaffected by the heat was wheelchair race winner Joshua Cassidy of Toronto, who set a world record with his time of 1:18:25.
About 22,500 people took part in this year’s event, with an additional 4,300 apparently taking the race organizers up on their offer to defer their entries into next year’s race due to the potentially dangerous heat.