When Eliud Kipchoge takes the course for any marathon, it typically turns into a race for second place.
But that trend shifted at Monday’s Boston Marathon, as Kipchoge could not keep up with the pace in the pouring rain, and Evans Chebet pulled away to win his second straight Boston Marathon in 2 hours 5 minutes and 54 seconds.
Chebet, a 34-year-old Kenyan, is the first man to win the Boston Marathon in back-to-back years since Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot won three straight in 2006 to 2008. Chebet hinted at a three-peat after the win.
“I’m happy because I won last year and this year, so maybe next year I’ll come back again,” he said. Chebet said his experience running the course last year gave him an advantage during Monday’s rainy conditions. He was faster by nearly a full minute.
Chebet had been among a pack of eleven runners that Kipchoge seemed to be comfortably leading, until Gabriel Geay, who finished second led an aggressive move at the 19-mile mark, and the pack left Kipchoge behind them.
Chebet has won his last three marathons, also winning the New York City race last year.
It was a shocking upset for Kipchoge, the greatest marathon runner of all time, who finished in sixth place. Kipchoge’s time was 2 hours 9 minutes and 23 seconds, his slowest marathon finish ever.
Kipchoge has only lost two marathons in 15 attempts, which includes 10 world marathon major wins. It was his first time running at the Boston Marathon on a day laden with rain and a course with a hilly terrain that forces many runners to struggle. Kipchoge’s last marathon loss came at the 2020 London Marathon in similar rainy conditions.
Kipchoge, 38, has said that running all six major marathons is on his “bucket list.” He now has just the New York City Marathon to check off his list, which will happen in November.