121st Boston Marathon is Keflezighi's last, Rupp's first

Tuesday, 18 Apr, 2017

The 26.2-mile course will start in Hopkinton, Mass., and will run through downtown Boston.

But it wasn't a bad day to be an American, either.

Among the notables in this year's field is Kathrine Switzer, who will have a much easier time of it than she did 50 years ago when she was the first woman to officially compete in the race.

Already a silver medalist and USA record-holder in the 10,000 meters, he ran the fastest marathon time ever for an American in the Summer Games: 2 hours, 10 minutes, 5 seconds. A year earlier, Bobbi Gibb ran Boston as its first unregistered woman.

The Boston Marathon - the first such race held in the United States, beginning back in 1897 - is a preeminent sporting event in a city filled with them.

He took seventh in last year's Amsterdam Marathon and third at Rotterdam. Kiplagat finished in an unofficial time of 2:21:53. Her bib famously enraged race official Jock Semple, who tried to rip it away.

After this year's race, the Boston Marathon is retiring Switzer's bib number. Switzer won the New York City Marathon in 1974, became an author, television sports commentator and activist, and returned to marathon running at 64; she has completed 39 marathons. "She pulled ahead of Rose Chelimo of Bahrain in the Newton hills to win by 59 seconds". Americans had six of the top 10 finishers in the men's race and two of the top four women. Almost a quarter into the race, the lead group consisted of a tight pack of 13 women.

HAIL HAYLEHayle gave Ethiopia its first-ever sweep past year when he pulled away from countryman and two-time champion (2013, 2015) Lelisa Desisa with about a mile to go to join Baysa on the victory stand. 2014 champion Buzunesh Deba was also about 2 minutes behind the leaders. She had entered the race with her friend Arnie and her boyfriend Tom Miller and it took a a body block her boyfriend to knock the official off the course. In the women's wheelchair race, Switzerland's Manuela Schar was first across the Boylston Street finish line in 1 hour, 28 minutes and 16 seconds. It was the fastest-ever debut by an American woman, Runner's World says.

After Monday, no one will wear that number in the Boston Marathon again.

Switzer used her influence to campaign to get women into the Boston Marathon by 1972. (Before 2017, this unsupported race had only been attempted by either all male or coed teams.) Organizations like Girls on the Run and Switzer's own 261 Fearless use running as a vehicle to empower and unite women globally on a daily basis.