Athletes from 49 states and 102 countries participated in the 6.2 mile race through Back Bay
BOSTON – The summer road racing season kicked off with sunshine and spectacular finishes, as 7,867 athletes took part in today’s 2023 B.A.A. 10K presented by Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Kenya’s Hellen Obiri, returning to the city two months after winning the 127th Boston Marathon, took home the win in the women’s open division, while Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay earned his second B.A.A. 10K win in five years. Obiri’s finish time for the out-and-back course was 31:21, with Geay clocking in a new personal best 27:49.
In the wheelchair division, Hermin Garic of New York successfully retained his men’s title – crossing in 22:44 just inches ahead of James Senbeta—while Yen Hoang of Illinois took home top honors in the women’s wheelchair division in 25:25.
OBIRI AND GEAY RETURN TO WINNER’S CIRCLE
From the outset Obiri asserted her frontrunning prowess, building a 13-second lead by 5K. It was then that the hot and humid conditions began to impact the double Olympic medalist.
“At 8K my body was so tired. Maybe I went out too hard from the start,” admitted Obiri. “The ladies coming from behind were so strong. But I say, I’m also the best. I can try to win.”
That she did, crossing in 31:21. Stacy Ndiwa of Kenya was second in 31:25, followed by compatriot Sheila Chepkirui (31:27), American Emily Sisson (31:35), and Kenyan Mary Ngugi (31:45).
“I’m so happy about the result,” said Obiri between smiles. “I wanted to run in the 30s [minutes] but unfortunately the weather was too hot, it was humid. But I am so happy for the win today.” The energetic support from the Boston running community also spurred Obiri on: “The crowd was so friendly, all the way they say Go Hellen! You get that energy; you want to race hard so that don’t let your fans down.”
A pack of nine men hit the halfway mark in 14:11, though Geay soon began pressing the accelerator. He’d hit 8K with a five second lead (22:16) before extending the margin of victory to 11 seconds at the finish. Kenya’s Edwin Kurgat (28:01) was second, with Kenyan Alex Masai rounding out the podium in third (28:09). American Diego Estrada was fifth in 28:19.
“I tried to push at the beginning, and from 6K or 5K I tried again to push it. There were three guys at my back but in a few meters they dropped off. I was intending to win,” said Geay, who is coming off a runner-up finish at the Boston Marathon in April. “The time was fast. I was hoping to run 27; I’m happy because of the weather.”
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL FIELDS TEAM OF 450
Among the field of competitors were more than 450 runners raising funds for Team Brigham and Women’s Hospital. More than $200,000 was raised through this year’s B.A.A. 10K, and more than $1.3 million has been raised since 2016.
“Every day, patients and families come to Brigham and Women’s Hospital seeking world-class, personalized, and compassionate care in virtually every medical specialty. The B.A.A. 10K marks a special opportunity to bring our community together to support the healing and life-saving work of the Brigham, as well as supporting important areas of research and innovation,” said Robert S.D. Higgins, MD, MSHA, president of the Brigham and executive vice president at Mass General Brigham. “We’re so thankful to the B.A.A. and all of the runners and volunteers who come together to make this day so special and appreciate their collective generosity and commitment in supporting the Brigham’s mission of excellence.”
PARA ATHLETES SET WORLD BEST TIMES
The B.A.A. 10K presented by Brigham and Women’s Hospital was certified by World Para Athletics as a record-eligible competition, paving the way for Para Athletes to set world and national records. Three athletes accomplished this – Brian Reynolds, Atsbha Gebremeskel, and Liz Willis! Winners in the Para Athletics Division this year included:
Andrew Thorsen – 38:02 – Men’s T11-T13 (vision impairment)
Atsbha Gebremeskel – 38:39* – Men’s T45-T46 (upper-limb impairment)
Brian Reynolds – 41:09* – Men’s T61-T64 (lower-limb impairment)
Jennifer Herring – 45:08 – T11-T13 (vision impairment)
Liz Willis – 52:30* – T61-T64 (lower-limb impairment)
*Pending world best and national record
NEXT UP: B.A.A. HALF MARATHON
The B.A.A. Half Marathon presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund will be the third and final event of the 2023 B.A.A. Distance Medley. The B.A.A. Distance Medley is a year-long series featuring the B.A.A. 5K (April 15), B.A.A. 10K (June 25), and B.A.A. Half Marathon (November 12). General registration will open for the B.A.A. Half Marathon on July 10 within baa.org, with early registration opportunities now available for finishers of the B.A.A. 10K and those looking to fundraise for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.
FLASH QUOTE – TOP AMERICAN EMILY SISSON
On finishing fourth as top American: “I’m happy with [the result]. It was a tough day out there, it was pretty hot and humid. I was hoping just to compete and top three was my goal and I just missed that.
On how the race played out: “I was leading the chase pack at two or three miles, then someone passed me and the last mile or two I was battling for third. I lost that battle but it was a good battle.
On targeting Shalane Flanagan’s American Record: “We were originally hoping to run a fast race today but then as we got closer and saw the weather, we’re like ‘let’s just race. It’s a good field and let’s see how I can test myself against them.
ABOUT THE B.A.A. 10K
The B.A.A. 10K starts and finishes on Charles Street adjacent to Boston Common and Boston Public Garden, and is widely regarded as one of the fastest 10K races in the world. All participants who entered received an adidas participant shirt, unique bib number, and finisher medal. Complimentary youth races were also offered for children on race morning within Boston Common.
ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (B.A.A.)
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A. manages the Boston Marathon, and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round programming. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock. Starting in 2024, the Boston Marathon’s presenting partner will be Bank of America. The 128th Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 15, 2024. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.