Carolyn Mather has been a long-time observer and supporter of Women’s elite running. Carolyn wrote for the iconic Running Journal, edited by the late great Bruce Morrison. Carolyn wrote this piece on the women’s Boston Marathon, which she covered remotely. 

A battle to the end highlights the Women’s elite version of the 2024 B.A.A. Boston Marathon!   

by Carolyn Mather

Hellen Obiri of Kenya broke away late to claim victory and now has another Boston victory with her name. Her second straight win has not been accomplished in Boston since Catherine Ndereba won two consecutive races in 2004 and 2005. “Last year, I was pretty familiar with the marathon, but this year, my training was perfect,” Obiri said. “We trusted everything we were doing, started to speed, and were upgraded from last year. So when we won last year, of course, I said I would win this one. Winning is like love. It’s something precious to me.”’

Hellen Obiri takes her second Boston Marathon in a row, photo by Kevin Morris

The race was an outstanding display of strength in women’s running as the pack of women was still over 20 as they crested Heartbreak Hill. Emma Bates, who lives and trains in Boulder and led through mile 25 last year, took the lead most of the race until the pack broke apart past Boston College. She quickly fell off the leaders and later said she was not quite as fit as she thought. She tore her plantar fascia in October at the Chicago Marathon. She was a favorite to make the Olympic team for Paris until she determined she was not back from the injury enough to compete in the trials. Today was obviously a disappointment, but she has a bright future ahead of her.

Emma Bates, 12th place, 2024 BAA Boston Marathon, photo by Kevin Morris

What was a pack of 20 whittled down to three, then two over the last few miles. Obiri and Sharon Lokedi left Edna Kiplagat and ran alongside each other as the spectators cheered them towards the finish. Obiri began her famous kick coming down the hill underpass on Commonwealth Ave. She had that remaining gear in the final stretch and now has another Boston victory. Obiri was joined at the finish line by her daughter, who wore her medal and inspired Obiri’s closing speed. Obiri won the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon and should definitely be chosen for the Kenyan Olympic team for Paris. Although she does not have one of the fastest Kenyan times, she is experienced on hills, and the course in Paris is hilly, and it will be warm. She has done all four marathons on hilly and difficult courses and should be a favorite in Paris 2024.

Edna Kiplagat, 127th Boston Marathon
April 17, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

Kiplagat had to be the story of the day. She is a two-time Boston winner, a mother of a boy and girl, and 44 years old. The PUMA runner is married to Gilbert Koech, and her family is amazing. It is absolutely incredible to see her forever-young attitude. Her patience and faith have carried her very well in running. Another podium finish is nothing new to Edna.

Sara Hall, 15th place, 2024 Boston Marathon, photo by Kevin Morris

Buze Diriba and Senbere Teferi (both from Ethiopia) each finished at 2:24:04 to round out the top five in the women’s race. Minnesota-born Emma Bates was the first American woman for 12th place in 2:27:14. Sara Hall was 15th in 2:27:58, and 2018 winner Des Linden was 16th in 2:28:27. It was a stellar day for women’s racing.

Des Linden, 16th, 2024 Boston Marathon, photo by Kevin Morris