Boston, defiant one year after terrorist attack

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Apr 21, 2021
  • Rita Jeptoo, the defending Boston Marathon champion.

The cost of running the 118th Boston Marathon is not in the prize money but the elaborate security plans in place for this year’s event. More than 36,000 runners will line up for one of the most prestigious events.

According to the New York Daily News, more than 100 cameras have been installed along the Boston portion. Near the finish point, spectators have been advised to avoid carrying their backpacks.

One year after a terrorist attack which claimed the lives of three spectators and injured more than 250 has not dampened the spirits of the runners and spectators. They will however remember the incident by observing a minute’s silence at 8.45 am local time before the women’s elite race starts at 9.32 am.

The elite men’s race is expected to start at 10 am after the National Anthem at 9.48 am and a fly over by four Air Ambulance Helicopters at 9.51am.

On Easter Sunday, the victims were remembered during various church services.

There has been a defiant tone among the participants with a strong message to the terrorists that they will never take the glamor from the event. Many have confidence in the security arrangements and feel very safe. The operative word has been ‘Boston Strong’ which has been adopted by the participants.

It is under these circumstances that top Kenyan marathon runners will line up for the gruelling event. Among them is the defending champion Rita Jeptoo, 33 whose personal best is 2:19.57 set in October in Chicago last year. She won the Boston Marathon in 2006.

The immediate challenge is from Jemima Sumgong her training partner with a personal best time of 2:20.48. Sumgong finished second in Chicago and in April won the Rotterdam marathon.

Two other Kenyans, Caroline Kilel, winner in 2011 and Sharon Cherop, winner in 2012 are also tipped for top honors. Ethiopian, Mare Dibaba, the fastest over the distance with a personal best of 2:19.52 is the biggest threat.

In the men’s category, all eyes will be on the defending champion Lelisa Desisa from Ethiopia. Up on his heels will be Kenyans Dennis Kimetto who broke the Chicago Marathon record last October finishing on 2:03.45, Micah Kogo, last year’s Boston Marathon runners up and Wilson Chebet.