Boston Marathon

‘For me, to lose hope is not easy:’ Peres Jepchirchir outlasts Ababel Yeshaneh to win women’s Boston Marathon

"When you see the cup for finishing, that's when the strength comes."

Peres Jepchirchir
Peres Jepchirchir, of Kenya, breaks the tape to win the women's division of the 2022 Boston Marathon. AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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Kenyan runner Peres Jepchirchir knew she was going to win the women’s 2022 Boston Marathon near the 25-mile mark.

Everybody watching had to wait a little longer to be sure.

In an electric finish on Monday, Jepchirchir needed multiple finishing kicks in the final mile to outduel 30-year-old Ethiopian runner Ababel Yeshaneh, but Jepchirchir saved her best for last and claimed Boston with a time of 2:21:02.

“I just believed in myself,” the 28-year-old told the USA Network after the race. “And when you see the end, and then you see the cup for the finishing, that’s where the strength comes.”


Jepchirchir was part of a four-person group that pulled away from the pack early along with Yeshaneh, Joyciline Jepkosgei and Degitu Azimeraw. Molly Seidel, whose Boston ties made her a favorite among many American fans watching, fell back near Natick at the 9-mile mark and ultimately dropped out of the race.

Jepkosgie, Yeshaneh and Jepchirchir battled for several miles before Jepkosgie dropped back away from the leaders, leaving just the 30-year-old Yeshaneh and Jepchirchir. For several miles, Yeshaneh and Jepchirchir ran shoulder-to-shoulder and even appeared to chirp each other at times — each appearing to chide the other for crowding their respective spaces.

“Ababel was so, so strong,” Jepchirchir told USA after the race. “She was strong, and for me it was just keeping energy for the kick.”

Fortunately, as she told WBZ: “For me, to lose hope is not easy. I’m fighting till the end.”

Jepchirchir appeared to finish off Yeshaneh late in the race with an impressive kick that built a lead of several meters. But Yeshaneh accelerated too and closed the gap. The USA broadcast showed both crossing underneath a bridge — Jepchirchir several steps ahead. By the time the duo emerged, Yeshaneh had closed the gap entirely, and she took the lead again shortly afterward.


But Jepchirchir wasn’t done. She took the lead back twice by scooting around corners quicker than Yeshaneh, only to surrender the lead a final time.

“I was feeling tired but I didn’t lose hope because I knew that ahead, for me if I arrived at 40 kilometers, I knew I would finish the race,” she told WBZ. “So I was just keeping the energy for finishing the race.”

Jepchirchir’s final kick was enough. Yeshaneh fell behind by a few steps, and then by four seconds as the duo raced down Boylston Street. In the end, Jepchirchir added a Boston championship to a year that has also included a victory at the New York City Marathon and an Olympic gold medal.

“It means a lot to me,” Jepchirchir told WBZ. “I believe in myself more, and I know I have still more victories to come.”

USA cameras later captured Yeshaneh stretching her legs. She held a hand up to block their view of her face.

“[Jepchirchir] is a very good competitor and she is a friend too,” Yeshaneh said after the race. “She always considers me as a friend, and I’m glad that I ran with her, and I’m also glad that I came [in] second.”


“I’m grateful for winning the race today,” Jepchirchir told WBZ. “I was not expecting because the competitors were strong, but I did well and won it.”


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