Boston Marathon 2023: Evans Chebet upsets Eliud Kipchoge; bombing victims honored on 10th anniversary

On a rainy and overcast Monday, runners toed the starting line of a Boston Marathon with unique significance. Drawing the world's best distance runners and para-athletes for the 127th time, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Recreational runners, some of them for the first time, trained for the tough 26.2-mile course in honor of the three people that were killed and hundreds that were injured.

Men's marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge entered the prestigious race for the first time in his career with a similar sentiment, “to spread the word of positivity, the human family.”

Evans Chebet wins second consecutive Boston Marathon

Before it started, the men's professional race was already unique. Kipchoge, the greatest marathoner of all time, was slated to make his debut. But it was fellow Kenyan, Evans Chebet, to get crowned with the wreath. He beat his 2:06:51 2022 finish to win in an unofficial time of 2:05:54.

Chebet pulled away during the last mile to beat Benson Kipruto and Tanzania's Gabriel Geay. He is now the Boston Marathon's first back-to-back champion in 15 years.

In preparation for the only U.S. marathon with qualifying time standards and the world’s oldest annual marathon event, Kipchoge reportedly felt "unsettled" in a way he never had. After leading through the halfway mark, he fell to seventh place in the second half of the race to finish sixth for just his third career defeat.

American Scott Fauble finished in seventh.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 17: Evans Chebet of Kenya crosses the finish line and takes first place in the professional Men's Division during the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Evans Chebet of Kenya tool first place in the Boston Marathon's professional Men's Division of the 127th Boston Marathon. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) (Maddie Meyer via Getty Images)

Helen Obiri wins her Boston debut

Beginning with a slower-than-usual 17:48 first 5 kilometers, the women's professional race was run in a tight pack until the last mile. Kenya's Helen Obiri took the victory in her first race in Boston and second-ever marathon with an unofficial time of 2:21:38. Ethiopian Amane Beriso stayed close for a second-place finish.

American Emma Bates led through 22 miles but dropped to fifth place for a personal best of 2:22:10 (unofficial). As Bates fell behind the pack, Beriso, Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh and Israel's Lonah Salpeter ran in a cluster until Obiri broke away first for the champion's lane.

Records, perseverance in wheelchair races

Switzerland's Marcel Hug rode mostly alone in a dominant men’s wheelchair race for his sixth Boston Marathon win. His 1:17:06 finish beat his 2017 time for a new course record. The win came after he was forced to withdraw from last year's race due to illness.

In another commanding victory, Susannah Scaroni broke away early for a 1:41:45 win. Heard squeaking up Heartbreak Hill, she was forced to stop and repair one of her wheels early in the race. Still the 31-year-old was able to hold onto her lead over Manuela Schär, a four-time winner in the event.

'New England is the type of town that knows how to regroup'

Baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz delivered an iconic speech after the marathon bombing in 2013. This year, he was met with applause as served as the marathon's grand marshal.

“I always tell people everywhere I go: New England is the type of town that knows how to regroup, how to bounce back, knows how to put it together,” Ortiz said. “That’s one of the things that made me really proud.”

Evidence of that resilience, the race included 264 members of the One Fund community, which consists of those injured in the attack, their friends, family and charities.

Martin Richard, the youngest person killed in the bombings, would have turned 18 and become eligible for this year's marathon. In his honor, his friends and family ran as a team in the name of the Martin Richard Foundation.

Ortiz wasn't the only notable athlete to participate in the event. Former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Charara ran in support of The Thomas E. Smith Foundation & The Hoyt Foundation.

University of Virginia president Jim Ryan dedicated his race to D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. The three football players were killed in a tragic shooting on November 13th.