Athletics

Athletics Stats: African runners who have won the women’s race in Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is a yearly marathon race that takes place in various locations and towns throughout Greater Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. The event is traditionally held on Patriots’ Day, which falls on the third Monday in April. Its inspiration came from the inaugural marathon race held during the 1896 Summer Olympics. The Boston Marathon is considered one of the most prestigious road racing competitions in the world and is recognized as the oldest annually-held marathon race globally. The course spans from Hopkinton in southern Middlesex County to Copley Square in Boston, making it one of the six World Marathon Majors.

Since its inception, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has been responsible for organizing the event every year, except for 2020 when it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boston Marathon attracts over 30,000 runners from all over the world, including both amateur and professional athletes. The Massachusetts terrain and variable weather conditions make it a challenging and exciting event for all participants. What began with just 15 runners in 1897 has since grown into one of the most prominent and well-known sporting events worldwide.

Read More-Athletics Stats: African runners who have won the men’s race in Boston Marathon

Women’s race in Boston Marathon

Roberta Gibb was the first female to finish the entire Boston Marathon in 1966. She did not, however, use an official race number to participate. In 1967, Katherine Switzer registered for the race with a name that was gender-neutral yet received a bib number. When officials realized she was a woman, they made an effort to have her removed from the race. At the time, the Amateur Athletics Union prohibited women from taking part in long-distance running. The A.A.U. did not let female competitors in authorized marathons, including Boston, until 1971. Nina Kuscsik became the first official female champion after winning the 1972 race. The eight female competitors who started the race that year all crossed the finish line.

African runners who have won the women’s race in Boston Marathon

Ethiopia’s Fatuma Roba was the first African Woman to have won the Boston Marathon in 1997. The 1996 Atlanta Olympics gold medalist went on to win the Boston Marathon once again in 1998 and 1999, thus winning the Marathon three successive times. In 2000 and 2001, Catherine Ndereba of Kenya claimed two consecutive Boston Marathon titles. Since 1997, Kenyans and Ethiopians have dominated the women’s race except for 2003, 2007, and 2018 when the marathons were won by Svetlana Zakharova, Lidiya Grigoryeva, and Desiree Linden. In the last edition (2022), the reigning Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir won the women’s race with a timing of 2:21:01. Since the Boston Marathon 2023 will be happening in just a few days, let’s take a look at the African runners who have shown their dominance in the world’s oldest marathon, the Boston Marathon.

YearAthleteCountryTiming
1997Fatuma RobaEthiopia2:26:23
1998Fatuma RobaEthiopia2:23:21
1999Fatuma RobaEthiopia2:23:25
2000Catherine NderebaKenya2:26:11
2001Catherine NderebaKenya2:23:53
2002Margaret OkayoKenya2:20:43
2004Catherine NderebaKenya2:24:27
2005Catherine NderebaKenya2:25:12
2006Rita JeptooKenya2:23:38
2008Dire TuneEthiopia2:25:25
2009Salina KosgeiKenya2:32:16
2010Teyba ErkessoEthiopia2:26:11
2011Caroline KilelKenya2:22:36
2012Sharon CheropKenya2:31:50
2013Rita JeptooKenya2:26:25
2014Buzunesh DebaEthiopia2:19:59
2015Caroline RotichKenya2:24:55
2016Atsede BaysaEthiopia2:29:19
2017Edna KiplagatKenya2:21:52
2019Worknesh DegefaEthiopia2:23:31
2021Edna KiplagatKenya2:25:09
2022Peres JepchirchirKenya2:21:01

More Athletics stats-
1) Winners of Tokyo Marathon since its beginning to date
2) Athletes who are record-holders in the six World Marathon Majors
3) Athletics Stats: African gold medalists in marathon running in Olympics
4) Athletics stats: Men’s Long Jump World Record and its Progression over the Years