Geoffrey Kirui, of Kenya, leads Galen Rupp, of the United States, and the rest of the field along the course of the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday.
Charles Krupa/Associated Press
Edna Kiplagat, of Kenya, wins the women's division of the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday.
Mary Schwalm/Associated Press
The elite female runners break from the starting line in the 2017 Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., Monday.
By Jimmy Golen / Associated Press
BOSTON — Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui won the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, pulling away from American Galen Rupp with about two miles to go to win in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 37 seconds.
Rupp, a three-time Olympian making his Boston debut, was 21 seconds behind and Japan’s Suguru Osako was another 30 seconds back. Americans had six of the top 10 finishers in the men’s race and two of the top four women.
Kenyan policewoman Edna Kiplagat won the women’s race in 2:21:52, needing only one try in Boston to add it to wins in London, New York and Los Angeles. She pulled ahead of Rose Chelimo of Bahrain in the Newton hills to win by 59 seconds.
“When I was running, my body was feeling good,” said Kiplagat, who was greeted at the finish line by two of her children. “I tried to push more, hard and I saw my (rivals) were not picking up the pace.”
American Jordan Hasay, making her debut at the distance, was third and Desi Linden was fourth — the first time since 1991 that two U.S. women have finished in the top four.
The warm temperatures that hit 79 degrees at the 20-kilometer mark in slowed the runners but the strong tailwind was a boost — especially for the wheelchair races.
Marcel Hug won Boston for the third time, outpushing 10-time champion Ernst Van Dyk and finishing in 1:18:04 to beat the course record and world best by 21 seconds. Fellow Swiss Manuela Schar shattered the women’s mark by more than five minutes, winning in 1:28:17.
The winners’ times on the point-to-point Boston course are considered a world best and not a world record because of the possibility of a supportive tailwind like the one on Monday.
“The wind is so important,” Hug said. “The roads were good. Everything was fantastic today.”
Earlier Monday, city officials announced plans for memorials to mark the sites where two bombs exploded during the 2013 Boston Marathon.
City officials and the families of five people who died in the bombing or its aftermath say there’s also a plan to build a separate, larger memorial to victims, survivors and responders.
Pablo Eduardo is a Massachusetts resident and internationally known sculptor. He’ll create the memorial markers on Boylston Street where bombs killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others.
Eduardo said Monday his goal is to “embody the spirit of those we lost and the spirit of the city they loved.”
A race that resonated
Fifty years ago, a runner officially entered as K.V. Switzer participated in the Boston Marathon. On Monday morning, she’s did it again at age 70.
Kathrine Switzer’s marathon in 1967 became historic because she was the first woman to complete the all-male race as an official entrant — her registration as “K.V. Switzer” hid her gender. The race resonated far beyond a footnote in the record books when an official tried to force her from the course after a few miles.
“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. “But I had trained hard and was confident of my strength. Still, it took a body block from my boyfriend to knock the official off the course.” Switzer recovered to finish in 4 hours 20 minutes.
Women were finally officially allowed to enter the Boston Marathon in 1972.
Women’s marathoning has come a long way, joining the Olympics in 1984 and gaining popularity through runners like Grete Waitz and Tegla Loroupe. More than half of marathon runners in the United States are women.
“In 1967, few would have believed that marathon running would someday attract millions of women, become a glamour event in the Olympics and on the streets of major cities, help transform views of women’s physical ability and help redefine their economic roles in traditional cultures,” Switzer wrote.
Over the years, Switzer has competed in more than 30 marathons, winning New York in 1974 in 3:07:29, and has worked as a television commentator. She is the founder of 261 Fearless, a running club for women. The name comes from the number she wore in 1967.