Catherine Ndereba First Woman to Win Boston Fourth Time

By Jörg Wenig

There was a historical performance in the women’s race and a surprise in the men’s race at the 109th edition of the Boston Marathon. The race was traditionally started on Monday in Hopkinton and ended in the centre of Boston. The Kenyan Catherine Ndereba became the first woman to win the BAA Boston Marathon for the fourth time. The Olympic marathon silver medalist clocked 2:25:13 hours and was, as the year before, first in front of Elfenesh Alemu (Ethiopia/2:27:03). Bruna Genovese (Italy) was third in 2:29:51.

In the men’s race Ethiopian Hailu Negussie stopped the Kenyan win streak. Three times in a row the Kenyans had won in Boston and during the last 14 BAA Boston Marathons the winners came from Kenya 13 times. This time Hailu Negussie won in 2:11:45 and earned as well as Catherine Ndereba 100,000 Dollars for the victory. In a slow race Wilson Onsare (Kenya) was second in 2:12:21 while Benson Cherono (Kenya) was third in 2:12:48.

The BAA Boston Marathon had 20,405 entries and 17,549 runners crossed the finish line. Three-time Boston winner Uta Pippig started the women’s race. She had been the first woman to reach a triple triumph in a row in Boston. Then it was Fatuma Roba (Ethiopia) who managed this as well. Catherine Ndereba didn’t make it three times in a row but the victories in 2000 and 2001 as well as 2004 and 2005 made her the first woman to win four times in Boston. “I feel great and I thank God for being able to write sports history,” said Catherine Ndereba.

After the first half the Kenyan had been well behind. Elfenesh Alemu and Romanian Nuta Olaru were leading the race. After 1:12:11 hours they reached the half marathon point, while Ndereba was only in fourth position (1:13:31). “At the beginning I had the feeling that my legs were heavy. So I tried to run relaxed at first,” explained Catherine Ndereba.

While Alemu got away from Olaru at kilometer 25, Catherine Ndereba slowly found her way back into the race. And she was getting closer. At the dreaded Heartbreak Hill Ndereba caught up with Alemu. Shortly after that she left Alemu behind. As last year the Ethiopian finished runner-up. “I was going faster now and I felt much better,” Catherine Ndereba explained.

In the men’s race two runners took the lead early. Stephen Kiogora (Kenya) und Khalid El Boumlili (Morocco) reached half way in 66:11 minutes. They had an advantage of 31 seconds. But a few kilometers later they were caught by the chasing group. Besides Kiogora and Negussie there were four more Kenyans: Robert Cheruiyot, Wilson Onsare, Benson Cherono and Timothy Cherigat. Defending champion Cherigat belongs to the newly founded KIMbia Athletics group and is coached by Dieter Hogen.

After 20 miles Hailu Negussie suddenly forced the pace. At first only Robert Cheruiyot could keep up with him. But he was to fall back soon after. That was the decisive moment. “The Boston Marathon is seen as the greatest marathon. So I am very proud to have won this race,” Hailu Negussie explained.


1. Hailu Negussie (ETH) 2:11:45 hours
2. Wilson Onsare (KEN) 2:12:21
3. Benson Cherono (KEN) 2:12:48
4. Alan Culpepper (USA) 2:13:39
5. Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:14:30
6. Timothy Cherigat (KEN) 2:15:19
7. Benjamin Kipchumba (KEN) 2:15:26
8. Andrew Letherby (AUS) 2:16:38

1. Catherine Ndereba (KEN) 2:25:13
2. Elfenesh Alemu (ETH) 2:27:03
3. Bruna Genovese (ITA) 2:29:51
4. Svetlana Zakharova (RUS) 2:31:34
5. Madina Biktagirova (RUS) 2:32:41
6. Lyubov Morgunova (RUS) 2:33:24