BOSTON, USA, Apr 17 – Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya won the 2017 Boston Marathon, charging past American Galen Rupp around the Mile 22 mark, finishing in dominant fashion. His final time was an unofficial 2:09:37.
Rupp came in second at 2:09:58.
The men’s pack shuffled big time in the second half of their race. Around Mile 14, Geoffrey Mutai was in the lead, and then he gave way to Abdi Abdirahman.
Rupp, a United States Olympian, took the lead an hour and 27 minutes into the race. Defending champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle was also up with the top pack for most of the race.
The pack eventually ended up separated with Rupp and Kirui getting ahead of the rest. Kirui took a dominant lead going into Mile 24, though, posting the fastest split of the day at 4:27.
Kirui, 24, produced a devastating sprint with four miles to go to settle an enthralling tactical battle with Rupp, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist.
Kirui waved and smiled as he took the tape in a time of 2hr 9min 37sec, with Rupp finishing in second.
It was a masterful performance from the young Kenyan, who made his move with a 4:52 mile at the 22-mile mark that saw him pull clear of Rupp.
Rupp battled desperately to stay in touch but was unable to respond as Kirui kept the pace up to leave the Oregon-based American in second in 2:09:58. Japan’s Suguru Osako was third in 2:10:28.
Kirui’s time was well outside the world marathon record of 2:02:57 set by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto in Berlin in 2014.
Kirui later revealed he had pulled clear of Rupp after deciding to “test” his own finishing power.
“I saw he (Rupp) was a strong guy. Not easy,” Kirui said. “So I tried to push a little bit to test myself. And I saw that he had not come with me, so I pushed a little bit more.”
Kirui said he now planned to concentrate on marathon running after failing to find success in track events.
“I tried many times in the track but I see my future in marathon,” he said.
Kirui became the first Kenyan to win the race for the first time since 2012 when Cherengany MP Wesley Korir won it.