Boston Marathon

12 must-see moments from the 2023 Boston Marathon

From incredible finishes to heartwarming moments, the Boston Marathon delivered plenty of highlights. Here are a few you can't miss.

Fernando Ferreira celebrates in the rain as he crosses the finish line next to Zhenfei Lu, left, during the 127th Boston Marathon on Monday.
Fernando Ferreira celebrates in the rain as he crosses the finish line next to Zhenfei Lu, left, during the 127th Boston Marathon on Monday. Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

In addition to the usual Marathon Monday challenges (looking at you, Heartbreak Hill), marathoners had wet and gloomy weather to contend with for the 127th Boston Marathon

Despite less than ideal conditions, the 2023 race — which marked the 10th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings — offered the usual thrilling, inspiring, and photo-worthy moments as tens of thousands of runners made their way along the course. 

Here are the top highlights: 

1. Hellen Obiri’s adorable post-win moment with her daughter 

With about half a mile left in the race, Kenya’s Hellen Obiri broke away from the elite women’s pack to win the Boston Marathon — only the second marathon she’s ever run. Waiting at the finish line were her husband, Tom Nyaundi, and their young daughter, Tania. 

In a post-race interview, the 33-year-old Obiri described her family as a source of motivation and said her daughter often asks her questions like, “You can’t be number one?”


Standing beside her mother during the interview, Tania — in typical 7-year-old fashion — appeared more or less unimpressed with the pomp and circumstance that followed Obiri’s epic win.

But when asked how she thought her mother did in the race, Tania broke out in a grin as she replied, “Good!”

2. Evans Chebet eyes a three-peat

Taking the crown in the men’s race for the second year in a row was Kenya’s Evans Chebet, who notched the third fastest time in Boston Marathon history.

Chebet was the first repeat winner in the men’s race since Robert Cheruiyot won three in a row between 2006 and 2008.

And he’s already got his eye on 2024. 

“Maybe next year I’ll come back again,” Chebet joked after the race. 

3. Eliud Kipchoge vs. the Newton hills

Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s greatest men’s marathoner, made his Boston debut Monday to much fanfare as some speculated whether the world record holder might be able to cross the finish line in under two hours

But as the Boston Athletic Association noted, a hilly course like Boston’s was a new feat for Kipchoge, who struggled and fell behind as the race moved into the Newton hills. He ultimately came in sixth place in 2:09:23 — his slowest career run, according to The Boston Globe. 

Benson Kipruto looking at Eliud Kipchoge stride near the 11 mile marker during the 127th Boston Marathon. – Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

4. The Silver Bullet cruises to victory

By now, Marcel Hug should be a familiar name among avid marathon viewers. Nicknamed “The Silver Bullet,” the Swiss marathoner etched out a lead early on in the men’s wheelchair race and topped his own 2017 record by nearly a minute, crossing the finish line in 1:17:06. 


This year’s race was his sixth Boston win. 

5. Susannah Scaroni marks first Boston win, thanks to an Allen key

Rainy conditions and a loose axle weren’t enough to stop Susannah Scaroni from snatching a victory in the women’s wheelchair race. 

The American marathoner was able to maintain her lead over a competitive field, even after pulling over to make a quick repair along the course in Natick.

“I was super disappointed, but at the same time I’m so happy I had an Allen key,” Scaroni said in a post-race interview. “I’ve done marathons when I didn’t, and so I have learned throughout my years to carry everything you need.”

6. Elite runner trips and falls — then gets back up for a strong finish

Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh took a nasty spill after she was clipped as the professional women’s pack made its way through Brookline. But the 31-year-old quickly popped back up and returned to the group, ultimately placing fourth. 

7. American Emma Bates sticks it out 

Coming in just after Yeshaneh was American Emma Bates, who led the elite women over the Newton hills. Bates, the top American woman in Monday’s race, finished fifth with a time of 2:22:10 — a new personal record. 

“All I was thinking about for those last four miles was just to float,” Bates said after the race. 

Wellesley, MA, 04/17/2023, The elite women make their way in thge rain through Wellesley. Wellesley College students cheer on the runners at the 127th running of the Boston Marathon. Suzanne KreiterGlobe staff
The elite women make their way in the rain through Wellesley, with Emma Bates, at far left. – Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

8. Runners greeted with fog and downpours

Did we mention the rain?


Fog and drizzle gave way to scattered showers, pelting thousands of runners as they made their way to the finish line, WCVB reported.

9. David Ortiz’s victory lap

Legendary Red Sox player David Ortiz, 47, settled into his role as the 2023 Boston Marathon’s grand marshal, beaming at the finish line as he shook hands, greeted volunteers, and hoisted the Champion’s Trophy for pictures. 

“I’m not in a marathon shape right now,” Ortiz joked on WCVB ahead of the race. “But I’m gonna be in a car. That’s a good thing.”

David Ortiz stands at the finish line of the Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon Grand Marshal and Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer David Ortiz gestures at the finish line with the trophy Monday, April 17, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) – AP Photo/Winslow Townson

10. Spencer the dog remembered

Monday’s race marked the first Boston Marathon in several years without Spencer the official Boston Marathon dog, a golden retriever known for his presence along the route. 

Spencer and his “soulmate” Penny died of cancer just days apart in February.  

On Sunday, an estimated 250 golden retrievers (and their owners) met up at the Boston Common in Spencer and Penny’s honor. During Monday’s race, marathoners went out of their way to show some love to the dogs’ family as they cheered along the course in Ashland, WCVB’s Sera Congi reported.

11. Zdeno Chara makes a splash

Towering above other marathoners at 6-foot-9, former Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was easy to spot along the course. 

He crossed the finish line to the tune of the Bruins’ goal song and finished with a time of 3:38:23. 

12. Martin Richard’s brother, friends run in his honor

Henry Richard, whose 8-year-old brother Martin died in the 2013 marathon bombings, ran Monday’s race with Team MR8, The Martin Richard Foundation. The group of runners included some of Martin’s childhood friends, now old enough to run the marathon.  


“It’s an emotional day. Definitely was thinking about that for most of the race,” Richard said in an interview after the race. “But we put together a fantastic team this year, people who mean so much to me, so much to my family. I’m incredibly proud of them.”


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