Cherono Wins Men's Boston Marathon; Degefa Runs Away With Women's Race

Apr 15, 2019

Kenya's Lawrence Cherono outsprinted Ethiopa's Lelisa Desisa over the final few steps to win the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Cherono crossed the finish line in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 7 minutes, 57 seconds. That was just ahead of Desisa, the 2015 champion, who came in at 2:07:59. Kenya's Kenneth Kipkemoi was third at 2:08:06. Kenya's Felix Kandi was fourth and 2017 champion Geoffrey Kirui was fifth.

It was the Boston debut for Cherono, a winner of six marathons, who most recently won the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon.

Cherono, Desisa and Kipkemoi broke away during Mile 24 and were shoulder-to-shoulder heading into the final mile. They stayed that way until Cherono and Desisa made it a two-man race with about 200 meters to go. Desisa took the lead and appeared headed for victory before Cherono got on his left shoulder and outlasted him to the tape.

The elite women take off from the starting line for the Boston Marathon.
Credit Robin Lubbock / WBUR

Women's elite race

Ethiopia's Worknesh Degefa broke away from the rest of the field early and ran alone for the last 20 miles to win the women's Boston Marathon on Monday.

Degefa crossed the finish line in Boston's Back Bay in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 30 seconds. She is the eighth Ethiopan woman to win the race, and the third in seven years. It's her first major marathon victory. She won the Dubai Marathon in 2017, setting an Ethiopian national record in the process.

A half marathon specialist, Degefa opened up a 20-second advantage by Mile 7. It increased to more than three minutes by the halfway point.

Men's wheelchair racers line up at the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Credit Robin Lubbock / WBUR

Wheelchair race results

Daniel Romanchuk won the men's wheelchair race with the fastest time ever by an American. He crossed the finish line Monday in an official time of 1 hour, 21 minutes, 36 seconds.

Manuela Schar, meanwhile, is on her way to a sweep of the World Marathon Major women's wheelchair races. She won Boston for the second time on Monday, finishing at 1:34:19 with no one else in sight. She is already the defending champion in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. If she wins in London in two weeks, she will have swept the series.

Romanchuk is the youngest winner of the race at 20 years, eight months and 12 days. He is the first American winner since Jim Knaub in 1993. He finished three minutes ahead of Japan's Masazumi Soejima, who was second at 1:24:30. Marcel Hug was third, coming in at 1:26:42.

Romanchuk said, "I knew it was possible, it was just a matter of everything coming together." His victory breaks up the recent dominance of Hug and Ernst van Dyk, who between them have 14 Boston Marathon victories. Hug had won the previous four Boston races.

Schar, a 34-year-old from Switzerland, was about six minutes slower than the record she set in her other Boston victory, two years ago.

This report includes information from The Associated Press and WBUR.