Benson Kipruto won the men’s race Monday at the Boston Marathon, which was held for the first time since 2019, in an unfamiliar fall setting.
Kipruto, a 30-year-old Kenyan, had won the Prague and Toronto marathons, but lacked a signature victory before Monday.
C.J. Albertson, an American who was seventh in the most recent Olympic trials and was not considered a major contender in Boston, caused a stir when he raced out to a big lead ahead of the main pack, by as much as 2 minutes 13 seconds by the halfway mark. Such early leads seldom last long, but Albertson stubbornly stayed out front for mile after mile.
But the elite runners behind him started cutting into the lead, and after 20.5 miles, it was gone. The 15-strong pack that caught him included the major contenders Filex Kiprotich, Wilson Chebet and Asefa Mengstu. That’s when the race really began.
And the trigger was Kipruto, who put in a big surge on his own at 22 miles and seized the lead, with little resistance. He soon had a 30-second lead and pulled away with confidence. No one seemed willing to chase him, and he won going away in 2 hours 9 minutes 51 seconds.
Ethiopians were second, third and fourth, with Lemi Berhanu 46 seconds behind Kipruto and just a second ahead of Jemal Yimer.
Albertson, running on his birthday, unexpectedly hung on to finish 10th. “My belief is that I am the best downhill runner in the world,” he said of the race’s opening stages. “I wasn’t running hard, I was just running to what my strengths are. I’m not going to fly up the uphills like some of the other runners.”