Rotich's devastating kick wins Boston Marathon

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Apr 20, 2015
  • Caroline rotic produced a devastating kick to beat Mare Debaba and win the Boston Marathon. (Photo Courtesy Boston.com)

With a two-year ban on Rita Jeptoo still fresh in her minds and the focus on the 2013 bombing which killed three and injured 264 in the news, Caroline Rotich produced a devastating kick in the final few meters to win the women’s category of the 119 Boston Marathon on Monday.

“I had trained very hard for this race,” Rotich, 30 said after bresting, the tape on 2:24.55, 31 seconds ahead of favorite Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia. Buzonesh Deba also from Ethiopia was third.

This was the biggest win for Rotich who won Prague Marathon in 2013. She was fourth in Chicago and Tokyo last year.

In the men’s category, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia dictated the pace and widened the gap in the last miles to clock 2:09.17 ahead of compatriot Yemane Adhane Tsegay 2:09.48. The next four places went to Kenya with Wilson Chebet (2:10.22), Bernard Kipyego (2:10.47), Wesley Korir (2:10.49) and Frankline Chepkwony (2:10.52).

Security was tight in this year’s event which was held in wet conditions. Unregistered runners were not allowed to participate and the spectators and runners were restricted to what they could carry with backpacks discouraged.

According to the organizers, runners were only allowed one-gallon clear plastic bags where they could carry food or sports drinks. Fanny packs were allowed but the measurement restricted to 5 inches by 15 inches by five inches.

Rotich leaves it late

Rotich left her victory much later than Desisa, as yet again Boston’s women’s race came down to the final strides on Boyleston Street. This time the duel was Rotich and Mare Dibaba, with Buzunesh Deba, last year’s second-place finisher, left behind only as the trio made the first of two corners in the race’s closing stages, within a kilometre of the finish.

Dibaba seemed to have the upper hand, but Rotich found another gear and was able to pull away in the last strides, putting four seconds on Dibaba in what seemed like the last inches. Rotich finished in 2:24:55 after passing halfway in 1:12:45. Dibaba was four seconds back in 2:24:59, and Deba another 10 seconds adrift in 2:25:09.

“I swung wide,” Rotich said of her move on the final corner, “and I thought, ‘we’re so far away, I can’t see the finish line’. So I fell back, but then I saw the finish line, and I came back and had to give all the strength I had to reach the finish line.

“In Santa Fe [where Rotich trained this winter] we had cold weather, not too much snow. I knew there would be a chance of getting cold. I saw there would be a chance of rain, and I was happy it could be rain instead of cold, but it was cold. I got through because I’ve been training in wind and cold.”

Dibaba, the current world leader with her 2:19:52 run in Xiamen, admitted: “I was confident that I could win, but at the end I saw I would have to settle for second.”

Rotich first ran the Boston Marathon in 2011, finishing fourth, but until today her biggest marathon win was Prague in 2013; her PB of 2:23:22 goes back to Chicago in 2012.

Raised in Nyahururu, Kenya, the 30-year-old Rotich ran in Japan early in her career, attending Sendai Ikuei Gakuen, the same school that the late 2008 Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru attended.

Selected men's results: 1.Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) 2:09.17 2.Yemane Adhane Tsegay (Ethiopia) 2:09.48  3.Wilson Chebet (Kenya) 2:10.22 4.Bernard Kipyego (Kenya) 2:10.47 5.Wesley Korir (Kenya) 2:10.49, 6.Frankline Chepkwony (Kenya) 2:10.52 7.Dathen Rizenhein (USA) 2:11.20 8.Meb Keflezighi (USA) 2:12.42 9.Tadese Tola (Ethiopia) 2:13.35 10.Vitaliy Shafar (Ukraine) 2:13.52).

 Additional reporting from the IAAF