On the frosty Boston morning, Abel Kipchumba of Kenya and Fotyen Tesfay of Ethiopia triumphed in the 21st B.A.A. Half-Marathon, braving the biting cold and fierce competition. Each claimed victory, pocketing $12,000 in prize money for their exceptional displays of athleticism.
Kipchumba, who faced setbacks in the Berlin Marathon, surged ahead in today’s race, clocking an impressive 1:01:32, securing a 24-second lead over Australia’s Pat Tiernan, who finished in second place.
Tesfay, known for previous victories, made her decisive move at the 15-K mark, breaking away from a pack of 12 women to win in 1:08:46, crossing the finish line 14 seconds ahead of compatriot Senbere Teferi.
Similar to the recent TCS New York City Marathon, elite women took a deliberate pace. The initial downhill mile breezed by in a relaxed 5 minutes and 50 seconds. American Keira D’Amato, the national half-marathon record holder, opted to keep her pale green jacket over her Nike kit, prioritizing warmth throughout a significant part of the race.
“It was around five or six miles when I shed my first layer, then my arm sleeves around mile eight, and finally discarded my headband at mile 11,” shared D’Amato post-race.
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Tesfay strategically stayed within the pack until the 10-K mark, allowing other runners to take the lead. However, recognizing the pivotal moment, she made her move towards victory.
“As we neared the finish, I knew it was time,” Tesfay explained through a translator.
The final stretch to the finish at White Stadium in Franklin Park saw Tesfay emerge as the frontrunner, cheered on by a small crowd as she entered the stadium alone, securing her win with purposeful strides.
Meanwhile, in the men’s race, Kipchumba took an early lead, distancing himself from the competition after the 5-kilometer mark and maintaining a commanding position throughout. Reflecting on his win, he expressed joy at overcoming a year of injury rehabilitation and an unexpected Berlin Marathon dropout due to breathing difficulties.
Tiernan took a cautious approach, gradually advancing to secure second place comfortably as he surged towards the finish line.
The event witnessed over 6,000 runners completing the challenging course, contributing to raising over $700,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, showcasing resilience amid the stunning autumn scenery along the route.