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Ethiopians sweep women's B.A.A. Half Marathon, Kenyan wins men's race

The 2023 B.A.A. Half Marathon presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund took place today, November 12, starting and finishing within Boston’s Franklin Park. Personal bests and fast times were achieved on a chilly fall day. Preliminary results can be found here. 

In the professional open divisions, Fotyen Tesfay (Ethiopia) and Abel Kipchumba(Kenya) took home the women’s and men’s titles respectively, while Jenna Fesemyer and Hermin Garic, both of the USA, captured the wheelchair division victories. American Paralympian Liz Willisset a world record in the T61-64 division (lower limb impairment) in a time of 1:45:19. Among today’s finishers were more than 600 athletes representing the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jimmy Fund, raising more than $700,000 to defy cancer. 

Warming up through the early miles, Tesfay and a sizeable lead pack passed 5 miles in 27:10 and 10 miles in 53:17. The race began to intensify as Tesfay, American record holder Keira D’Amato, B.A.A. 5K champion Senbere Teferi, and World Cross Country Championships silver medalist Tsigie Gebreselama covered the hilly course along Boston’s Emerald Necklace Park System.

While it was a pack with 5K to go, Tesfay was all alone entering White Stadium, breaking the tape in 1:08:46. In her Boston debut, Tesfay not only conquered the competition but also the cold temperatures. 

“The pack was so big, but I managed to move ahead of them as I got close to the finish to take the win,” said Tesfay. “This is my first time running a half marathon in Boston and the coldest race I have ever run, so I am very happy to win.”

Teferi (ETH) and Gebreselama (ETH) rounded out the podium in 1:09:00 and 1:09:06, followed by D’Amato as the top American in 1:09:12. 

In the men’s race, Kipchumba was determined to improve upon a ninth place finish a year ago. Running with Australian Olympian Pat Tiernan and defending champion Geoffrey Koech (Kenya) through five miles, Kipchumba began to break away little by little. At six miles it was a seven second lead, then at 10 miles the gap stood 30 seconds. 

Kipchumba’s broke the tape all smiles in 1:01:32 with a hard-charging Tiernan second (1:01:56) and Yemane Haileselassie third in 1:02:17. Sam Chelanga, who won a silver medal in the 10,000m at the Pan Am Games on the track last week, was top American, seventh in 1:02:49. 

“Today was difficult because it was very cold. And as we know, Boston has a lot of hills. But I managed to win the race, so I am happy,” said Kipchumba. “I like the crowds. They cheered me and I got a lot of energy to push the pace.”  

(11/12/2023) Views: 505 ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

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Viola Chepngeno shares why she loves competing on hilly courses ahead of Boston Half Marathon return

Viola Chepengeno has shared her love for hilly courses as she gears up for her return to the Boston Half Marathon to defend her title.

Viola Chepngeno has disclosed her love for hilly courses as she gears up for her title defense at the Boston Half Marathon on Sunday, November 12.

Chepngeno observed that many people do not fancy competing on such tough courses but insisted that she is among the few who love competing in such environments.

She explained that she trains in Keringet, one of the hilliest places in Kenya and that’s where her love for the hilly courses stems from.

She expressed her excitement about returning to Boston, where she clocked 1:10:40 to win the race last season.

“I really like Boston and I am very happy to be coming back to defend my title this year. The course for the B.A.A. Half Marathon is great," she said.

"Some might call it challenging but I love it. Keringet, where I live in Kenya, is known to be one of the hilliest places to train in Kenya so I know I am good over tough courses."

The Kenyan added that she will be looking to make her full marathon debut at the Boston Marathon. Speaking about her Boston Half Marathon preparations, she noted that she is ready and capable of doing wonders.

She also noted that the crowds are a vital part of her success story. She recalled that her fans propelled her to victory last year and is keen to lower her Personal Best time this time round. 

“Perhaps one day I will run the Boston Marathon too! I am mentally and physically prepared for the race, and I know what I am capable of doing. I just have to be ready for a tactical race with lots of quality opponents also competing," she added.

:The crowds were really amazing last year. They cheered me on and made me push even harder to achieve my goals, so I am hoping they can help me improve this year.

"I prefer warm weather - which we definitely didn’t get last year but I managed to do it so I’ll take whatever we get.” 

(11/10/2023) Views: 256 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Geoffrey Koech reveals what he is banking on ahead of Boston Half Marathon

Defending champion Geoffrey Koech has disclosed what he will be banking on as he gears up for the Boston Half Marathon on Sunday November 12.

The 30-year-old will be banking on his past victory and mastery of the course to propel him to his second successive victory on Sunday. He had a great build-up towards the race and will hope to execute it well.

He has so far competed in three half marathons where he finished third in two races, Publix Atlanta Half Marathon and Prague Half Marathon. He finished fourth at the Principality Cardiff Half Marathon.

“It feels very nice to be coming back to Boston, knowing that I am the reigning champion. I have trained specifically for this year now that I know the course," he said. 

"Even though the course is challenging, I like it and I think my experience from last year gives me an advantage over those who will be doing it for the first time.

"We have hilly courses around my hometown of Kericho, so I have been adding some tough routes into my training, so my legs are used to it,” Koech said as per the race organisers.

Koech also explained that the fans give him a lot of encouragement and make him confident of winning the race.

He will be hoping that this time around, the fans will also play a huge role as he targets to win the race once again.

“The spectators gave me a lot of encouragement last year and made the course feel a lot easier. It’s so inspiring to be cheered all through the course," said Koech.

"The people of Boston are very friendly and welcoming to me. My goal is to win again this year so I hope I can do that and make the fans happy again.

"I like to run in temperatures between 59-64F and preferably no rain! I wonder what we will get on race day! See you soon, Boston."

(11/10/2023) Views: 362 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

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Fancy Chemutai to open her season at the Boston Half Marathon

Fancy Chemutai will be opening her season at the Boston 21km after a successful 2022 season.

Fancy Chemutai has been confirmed for the Boston Half Marathon scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 12.

Chemutai will be opening her season at the event because she has not competed in any other race this season. Last season, the Kenyan had a quite busy season since she started a bit earlier compared to this season.

She started off her season in April, with a 13th-place finish at the Adizero Road to Records before heading to the AJC Peachtree Road Race where she finished fourth. Her final race was at the 2022 Valencia Marathon where she finished an impressive fifth.

She heads into the field as the fastest with a Personal Best time of 1:04:54. However, she faces a stern test from her compatriots and Ethiopians who are also ready to rumble.

One able opponent to watch out for is Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia, the 2022 Boston 5K champion and three-time World Championships medallist who will be looking to continue her winning ways in Boston.

Another athlete who poses a threat is compatriot Rosemary Wanjiru, who claimed victory at the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year.

In the men’s field, Abel Kipchumba headlines the start list with a Personal Best time of 58:07. Shadrack Kimining, also from Kenya lines up as the second fastest in the field, and he placed fifth during last year’s edition of the event.

Mohamed El Aaraby (Morocco), Yemane Haileselassie (Eritrea), Pat Tiernan (Australia), and Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) will bring international expertise.

Defending champion Geoffrey Koech will also be in the mix looking to win back-to-back titles.

(10/19/2023) Views: 489 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

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Defending Champions, American Record Holders & Global Stars Highlight 2023 B.A.A. Half Marathon Professional Field

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today a star-studded professional field for the 2023 B.A.A. Half Marathon presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Defending champions Viola Chepngeno, Geoffrey Koech, and Jenna Fesemyer all return, while American half marathon record holder Keira D’Amato will take on the challenging course for the first time on Sunday, November 12. The B.A.A. Half Marathon starts and finishes at Franklin Park and runs along the Emerald Necklace Park System.

“As one of the most competitive half marathons in the country, we’re eager to bring many of the best open, wheelchair, and Para athletes in the world to Boston for November’s B.A.A. Half Marathon presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund,” said Jack Fleming, President and CEO of the B.A.A. “Nearly 9,000 athletes will take to the roads, led by some of the fastest and most decorated competitors in event history.”

In 2022, Chepngeno (Kenya), Koech (Kenya), and Fesemyer (USA) won the women’s open, men’s open, and women’s wheelchair divisions, respectively, while Marko Cheseto and Jacky Hunt-Broersma (both USA) persevered through rain to finish atop the podium in the Para Athletics Division. To repeat the feat, all will square off against a field that includes national record holders and global medalists.

Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia, the 2022 B.A.A. 5K champion and three-time world championships medalist, looks to continue her winning ways in Boston. She’ll battle Tokyo Marathon champion Rosemary Wanjiru, 2019 B.A.A. 10K winner Fancy Chamutai, world cross country silver medalist Tsigie Gebreselama, last year’s runner-up Bosena Mulatie, and two-time B.A.A. Half Marathon second place finisher Cynthia Limo.

Four Americans who competed at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August will toe the line, including D’Amato, Lindsay Flanagan, Susanna Sullivan, and Natosha Rodgers. D’Amato set the national half marathon record of 1:06:39 at this year’s Gold Coast Half Marathon in Australia, and along with Flanagan and Sullivan made up Team USA at the World Championships Marathon. Rodgers raced the 5,000m and 10,000m on the track in Budapest, finishing 14th in the latter event. Rachel Schneider Smith, a 2021 Olympian at 5,000m for Team USA, will be making her B.A.A. Half Marathon debut.

Ten men with sub-61 minute personal bests will line up for the B.A.A. Half Marathon. Abel Kipchumba owns the fastest lifetime best in the field (58:07), while Shadrack Kimining of Kenya, second fastest in the field, placed fifth in 2022. Mohamed El Aaraby (Morocco), Yemane Haileselassie (Eritrea), Pat Tiernan (Australia), and Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) bring international expertise. The fastest American men’s entrants are Nadir Yusuf (1:03:23), Kevin Koski (1:03:35) and Ryan Cutter (1:03:54) and sub-2:10 marathoner Ian Butler.

Dedham, Mass.-native Brian Reynolds, who set a world record at last year’s B.A.A. Half Marathon in the T62 (lower-limb impairment) category, returns, as does Marko Cheseto (T62) who ran 1:24:54 in 2022. Jacky Hunt-Broersma, last year’s women’s T62 champion, and Liz Willis, a three-time Boston Marathon T62 winner, will compete as well.

In the wheelchair division, Fesemyer set a course record 59:50 in 2022 to become the first women’s wheelchair athlete ever to break one hour in race history. Fellow 2022 women’s wheelchair podium finishers Yen Hoang (second place) and Michelle Wheeler (third) return as well.

James Senbeta and Hermin Garic, veterans of many B.A.A. events, headline the men’s wheelchair field. Garic was victorious at this year’s B.A.A. 10K.

The B.A.A. Half Marathon course runs along the picturesque Emerald Necklace Park System, past landmarks such as the Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Pond, and Franklin Park Zoo, before finishing at White Stadium in Franklin Park. The B.A.A. Half Marathon is a family-friendly event for athletes and spectators of all ages. Free youth events will be offered on race morning within Franklin Park, including races and medals for all. 

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund has partnered with the B.A.A. Half Marathon since 2003 as the race’s presenting sponsor and exclusive charity team. Through this relationship, Dana-Farber runners have collectively raised more than $8 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. In advance of the 2023 event, 640 Team Dana-Farber athletes have raised $375,000 to date.

(10/18/2023) Views: 477 ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

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B.A.A. Announces Expanded Para Athletics Divisions and Enhanced Prize Money Awards for 2024 Events

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced plans for an enhanced prize money structure across B.A.A. events in 2024, as well as the introduction of two new Para Athletics Divisions for athletes competing with coordination impairments (T35-T38) and intellectual impairments (T20) as well as more inclusive upper and lower limb impairment divisions. The changes will provide greater financial rewards for athletes across multiple divisions and expanded opportunities for athletes within the Para Athletics Divisions and Wheelchair Divisions.

“We are always looking at ways to celebrate and reward athletic excellence,” said Jack Fleming, B.A.A. President and CEO. “With these changes, we are recognizing top finishers and aspiring athletes in our Wheelchair and Para Athletics Divisions, while also expanding opportunities for new groups of athletes to be recognized and included in our B.A.A. events.”

He continued, “Boston is a running city, and we’ve made it our goal to elevate Para athletes as they train and compete for the podium at our events, from the 5K through to the marathon.”

“This creates an enormous positive impact for Para athletes and shows how the B.A.A. is leading the way towards greater inclusivity in sports,” said John Jordan, head of The Academy and executive co-sponsor of the Disability Action Network, Bank of America. “As we look across our involvement in sports around the world, we’re committed to help broaden the possibilities available to athletes competing at all levels.”

New prize structures highlights:

The Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America will now feature a cumulative prize fund of more than $1 million.

Wheelchair champions [T53/54/34] at the Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America will now receive a first-place prize of $40,000 (increased from $25,000), and places 2-10 will also receive increases in awards compared to recent years. Wheelchair athletes with T51-T52 classifications will receive awards for places 1-3.

The total wheelchair prize for 2024 will be $313,500 for men and women (previously $125,000). This includes $50,000 each for a course record (equal to the Open course record award)

The top three finishers in all seven Para Athletics Divisions at the Marathon will receive prize money of $2,500; $1,500; $1,000, respectively. 

Additional increases in the Wheelchair Division and Para Athletic Division prize money will be offered for the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K, and B.A.A. Half Marathon. The B.A.A. Half Marathon will also feature increased open division prize money for podium finishers.

Para and Wheelchair prize money divisions at the Boston Marathon adhere to World Athletics and World Para Athletics rules of competition. Athletes competing in the Para and Wheelchair divisions must be nationally or internationally classified to be eligible.

Overview of new Para Athletic divisions:

Seven Para Athletics Divisions will now be offered at the Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America, with newly established divisions for athletes with coordination impairments [T35-T38 and intellectual impairments [T20].

Additionally, the T61/63 lower limb impairment will now add the T43 classification, and the T62/64 lower limb impairment division will now add T42/T44 classifications.

The seven divisions are an increase from five divisions offered in 2023 (vision [T11/T12, T13], upper-limb [T45/T46], and lower-limb impairments [T61/T63, T62/T64]).

A Para Athletics Division for athletes with coordination impairments will be offered at the B.A.A. Half Marathon, B.A.A. 10K, and B.A.A. 5K from 2024.  Each of these events will now feature four Para Athletics Divisions namely vision, upper-limb, lower-limb, and coordination impairments.

Athlete Quotes

Marko Cheseto - Kenyan All-American athlete who holds the world record for a double lower leg amputee in the marathon said, “This increased recognition [from the B.A.A.] gives athletes with disabilities more public attention, and we can perform at a higher level given these opportunities.

“Now that we have the world’s oldest marathon leading the way [with prize money for Para divisions] all other marathons should be inclusive. It's about diversifying the sport and creating more avenues for people with disabilities to compete, so we continue to grow the sport for future generations.”

Daniel Romanchuk, US Paralympian and two-time Boston Marathon winner said, “The B.A.A. has championed the wheelchair division for many decades and continues to build on that tradition by including more Para-athlete divisions, allowing an ever-increasing number of athletes to compete.

“Increased prize money makes it possible for emerging athletes to attend elite-level races as well as helping them afford the costly equipment and repairs that are necessary to compete in Para-athletics. The B.A.A. is continually finding ways to elevate the sport, and it's incredibly exciting to imagine the future of Para-athletics!”

Reigning Boston Marathon Champion, and multi-World and Paralympic Champion from Switzerland, Marcel Hug said, “To see how the sport of wheelchair racing has developed in recent years is very gratifying and it is also a credit to the Boston Athletic Association. It is not only about the financial support which enables us to train and compete at a higher level, but it is also about the increased recognition and inclusion of Para-sports.

“As top athletes we try to perform at our best and inspire other people with or without disabilities so the support of the B.A.A. and the entire Abbott World Marathon Major series is more than just rewarding top performing athletes, it shows that we are an equal part of society.”

Tatyana McFadden, 21-time Abbott World Marathon Major winner from America said,“I’m proud to see how far we have come. I’m thankful for past, and for current athletes who have raised their voices to help create change. Change takes more than just one person, it takes a village, and takes people who believe in us. The B.A.A. has been part of that, so I am very thankful.

“The prize money is so important to support the elite Para divisions. The more support, visibility and education we can bring to the sport, the better it can be for all the athletes.”

Susannah Scaroni, Paralympic Gold medalist and the 2023 Boston Marathon Champion from America said, “The legacy of the Boston Marathon and its support of the wheelchair division has impacted me in so many ways.

“As a person with a disability, the legacy of the original 1970 wheelchair athletes has enabled myself and all other Para-athletes of my generation to perceive ourselves and to be perceived publicly, as professional athletes. I cannot express how much this has meant for all of us.

“The provision of prize money indicated that the B.A.A. truly recognized that wheelchair racers are elite athletes, and this support has enabled the sport to grow and improve and subsequently gives more people with disabilities exposure to role models.”

Liz Willis, Paralympian and three-time Boston Marathon Para Champion said, “The support of the B.A.A. for Para divisions is vital to expanding the Para movement. Just as the Boston Marathon was the first Abbott World Marathon Major to open the doors of possibility for women, they are doing the same for amputees and visually impaired athletes.

"It takes time and recognition to build a program, and the B.A.A. is the ONLY reason I currently run marathons.  The Boston Marathon allows others to see their impossible become possible. It has forever impacted my life by breaking down the walls of discrimination and providing pathways for all to push their limits of what's possible.”  

(09/07/2023) Views: 467 ⚡AMP
by B.A.A. Communications Department
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

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Molly Seidel returns to racing at BAA Half Marathon

Olympic bronze-medal marathoner and fan favorite Molly Seidel is back. Seidel jumped into the Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) Half Marathon on Saturday, and in a post-race press interview shared that her 1:16:22 finish (16th woman) was “right in line with what I expected it to be.”

While Seidel said it was frustrating not to have been able to build the fitness she had wanted for the race, her priority had been making sure her health, both mental and physical, was strong enough to compete.

“Lots of nerves, but honestly just pumped to be back on the line in my favorite city,” she shared pre-race on social media, where the athlete has been a compelling force around mental health and eating disorder awareness for legions of fans.

With only two full weeks of running training before the race, Seidel said that while she knows she still has a long way to go, it’s nice to have a foundation of health to build on right now.

After pressing pause on competition pre-World championships in July due to a sacral stress reaction (later diagnosed as a full fracture), Seidel has courageously and candidly shared the ongoing mental health challenges she has been facing, discussing her eating disorder recovery on social media and stressing the importance of reaching out for help.

In February, the athlete was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and after having found some relief from the medication Adderall, dropped out of the NYC 10K Mini while waiting for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the medication.

In October, Seidel went into further detail about the hurdles she was facing in an interview for Runner’s World, explaining that she had been dealing with a sense of shame after struggling throughout the summer with bulimia, a disease that she had first sought treatment for post-university and that she describes as “coming in waves.”

While Seidel felt pressure to be ‘cured’, eating disorder recovery is far from linear, and the athlete described an intense struggle after the 2022 Boston Marathon (where she was forced to drop out due to hip pain).

Seidel has also openly discussed her choices to step back from Strava and Instagram in the past year, and in sharing bravely about tough topics that are often hidden from view has undoubtedly given hope and courage to others facing similar personal challenges.

While the athlete hasn’t announced plans for her next event, fans and fellow athletes alike will be thrilled to see Seidel back in the racing game, looking healthy and happy.

(11/14/2022) Views: 1,006 ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

more...
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The 2022 B.A.A. Half Marathon returned to Franklin Park this morning as more than 6,300 athletes completed the 13.1-mile challenging course

At the front of the field, Kenyans Geoffrey Koech and Viola Chepngeno prevailed as men’s and women’s open division champions.

Despite sporadic rain throughout the morning, participants covered the challenging course through Boston and Brookline with smiles and enthusiasm. 

With a ferocious sprint into White Stadium, Chepngeno claimed the women’s open win in 1:10:40, just three seconds in front of Ethiopia’s Bosena Mulatie. Chepngeno, Mulatie and Hiwot Gebrekidan (Ethiopia) ran a majority of the race together, but it was ultimately the B.A.A. Half Marathon debutant in Chepngeno having the best finish of all. 

“I’m happy. So, so happy,” said a smiling Chepngeno. “The rain was cold. But I am happy so much!”

Gebrekidan was third in 1:11:09, with B.A.A. High Performance Team member Erika Kemp finishing as the top American, seventh in 1:12:13. Team USA Olympians Molly Huddle and Molly Seidel placed 12th (1:13:29) and 16th (1:16:22), respectively.

As a pack of a dozen runners led the men’s race through 10K, it was Koech taking the reigns at mile 9. While Tsegay Kidanu (Ethiopia), Zouhair Talbi (Marocco), and Teshome Mekonen (USA) did their best to keep close, it was Koech who stormed out of Franklin Park Zoo in front and wound up winning in 1:02:02. Kidanu and Talbi rounded out the podium in 1:02:10 and 1:02:15, while Mekonen placed fourth in 1:02:28 as the top American finisher. This was Mekonen’s first race as an American citizen. 

“The race was good, I am happy in Boston,” noted Koech, who said he came into the race briming with confidence. When did he know he had victory sealed? “The last 5K, all of the twisting [turns before the finish].”

(From Let's Run) Teshome Mekonen was born and raised in the Tigray region of Ethiopia but has been based in the US since 2020 and gained his citizenship in August (we’ll have more on his story next week on LetsRun.com). Only four Americans have ever run faster than Mekonen’s pb in the half (60:02), and while that time dates from 2018, it’s also worth noting that Mekonen raced Conner Mantz at the NYC Half in March of this year and beat Mantz by a minute.

He’s clearly one to watch for the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials, though his two marathons so far haven’t gone very well (2:22 in New York last year, 2:13 in Ottawa this year). His performance today was solid — though 62:28 is over two minutes off his pb, the hills and rain slowed most of the field. For reference, men’s winner Geoffrey Koech ran 62:02 today but 60:01 at the Cardiff Half in October.

After crossing the finish line in Boston today, Mekonen crossed his arms above his head in a similar gesture to the one made by Feyisa Lilesa at the 2016 Olympic marathon. Mekonen said his gesture was to bring attention to his home region of Tigray, which has been at the center of a civil war between Tigray and the Ethiopian federal government over the last two years. While there was positive news last week with leaders from each side agreeing to a truce, getting humanitarian aid to the area has still been a problem and Mekonen has been unable to communicate with his family and friends in the region.

“In Tigray, still everything is no food, no medicine, no bank, no electricity,” Mekonen said.

Mekonen said right now he’s already started training for his next marathon, which will come on January 15 in Houston.

“My [training] program, everything is marathon [right now],” Mekonen said. “This [race] is like time trial.”

Mekonen said he’s hoping to run 2:08 in Houston and finish in the top three.

Quick Take: Molly Seidel — “I’m just in such a drastically better place than I have been for a long time”

Molly Seidel’s time today of 76:22 was, by her standards, poor — at her best, she can easily maintain that pace for a full marathon. But Seidel was still in good spirits. For the first time in a long time, she feels she is in a good place with her body and her mental health. Today’s race was a chance to lay down a marker of where she’s at right now, but she expects to get a lot faster in the coming months.

“While it’s frustrating to come out and not be anywhere near the front pack, it’s nice knowing that I’m just in such a drastically better place than I have been for a long time,” Seidel said.

It has been a rough year for Seidel. After the high of a bronze medal at the Olympics and American course record in the New York City Marathon last year, Seidel has faced a number of challenges in 2022. She dropped out of the Boston Marathon with a hip injury that wound up as a sacral stress fracture. She has also struggled with disordered eating and was forced to withdraw from the New York Mini 10K earlier this year because she was waiting to receive a TUE for Adderall, which she had been taking to manage her ADHD (she no longer takes the drug). But, thanks to the help of her family, her coach Jon Green, and the rest of her support team, Seidel said she is feeling the best — mentally and physically — that she has for a long time.

The stress fracture sidelined Seidel until October, and even once she resumed training, it was mostly cross-training due to an ankle issue that flared up. But she is back to full training now and says she has hit 110 miles the last couple of weeks.

“I’m like one of those steaks that’s raw and you throw it on the grill and fast-sear it,” Seidel joked.

Quick Take: Molly Huddle’s comeback continues — though it’s different racing now as a mom

Molly Huddle had already raced twice since giving birth to daughter Josephine in April, both at 10 kilometers (33:59 at the Lone Gull 10K on September 25 and 33:32 at the Boston 10K for Women on October 8). Today was another step forward on her comeback and the longest race she’s done so far.

Huddle said her time of 73:29 was slower than she hoped but knew it would be tough after 10 miles — which is exactly what happened. Huddle already has another half lined up in Houston in January and hopes that with two more months of training under her belt, she will be able to feel stronger in that race.

“This [race today] will bring me along, for sure,” Huddle said. “I think the next half will be a lot faster.”

Huddle also thinks she’ll feel stronger once she stops breastfeeding Josephine — she had to pump milk today 20 minutes before her warmup.

Huddle is returning to a faster marathon scene in the United States than the one she left when she took her maternity break. The American record has been broken twice this year and now stands at 2:18:29 to Huddle’s occasional training partner Emily Sisson.

“It’s crazy,” Huddle said. “The women are running so fast and it’s so deep up front. From the 2:18 to 2:22 range, we have a lot of women. I’m just hoping to PR. Mine is 2:26 the last time I ran. That was pre-supershoe era.”

Huddle will be 39 by the time of the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials and right now would not be among the favorites to make the team — even in her prime, Huddle was always better at the shorter distances on the roads. She admitted she’d need to catch some breaks to have a shot at the Olympic team in 2024 but isn’t completely counting herself out.

“Marathons have a lot of variables, so I’d need a few to go in my favor and against somebody else,” Huddle said. “But you never know. The marathon, I think I have a shot.”

(11/13/2022) Views: 1,408 ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

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Chepngeno, Tanui lead star-studded field for Boston Half Marathon

Vicoty Chepngeno and Josphat Tanui head the line-up for the elite field for the Boston  Half Marathon set for November 13.

Chepngeno, who is the 2022 Aramco Houston Half Marathon champion, heads the list of fastest female athletes with a personal best time of 1:05:03.

Chepngeno has competed in a couple of half marathons since the year began including Istanbul in March, where she placed fourth in 1:06:58.

Ethiopia’s Bosena Mulatie lines up as the second fastest in the field with a PB of 1:05:46 posted at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February, where he wound up fifth.

Also to watch will be another Ethiopian, Hiwot Gebrekidan, who placed fifth in 2:19:10 at the recent Tokyo Marathon. Gebrekidan also finished fourth at the Great North Run in 1:07:22.

Great Britain’s Jess Piasecki and USA’s Molly Huddle are among the top 10 fastest women and will be competing for top honours.

Piasecki and Molly have personal best times of 1:07:20 and 1:07:25 respectively. Other Kenyan women in the race include Cynthia Jerotich (1:06:04), Viola Chepngeno (1:06:48), Vivian Chepkirui (1:08:02) and Mary Munanu (1:11:56).

In the men’s category, Tanui heads the field with a personal best of 59:22, which he posted at the 2017 Ústi nad Lábem Half Marathon top place second.

Another Kenyan, Shadrack Kimining is the second fastest with a time of 59:27. Kimining placed second (1:00:34) at this year’s Rimi Riga Half Marathon back in May.

The Ethiopian duo of Lelisa Desisa and Tsegay Kidanu will also be in the race with the aim of spoiling the Kenyans’ party.

Desisa, the 2019 World Marathon champion, is the third fastest in the field with a PB time of 59:30. On the other hand, Kidanu has a PB of 59:52.  Mexico’s Jose Santana with a personal best of 1:01:11 will also be in contention.

Other Kenyans in the field include Geoffrey Koech (59:36), James Ngandu (1:01:28), Dennis Kipkosgei (1:03:23) and debutant Vincent Kiprop.

(11/12/2022) Views: 878 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

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2022 B.A.A. Half Marathon Returns to Franklin Park on Sunday

The 2022 B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, will be held this Sunday, November 13, starting and finishing within Franklin Park. The event returns to an in-person format for the first time since 2019 and features a star-studded professional field leading the charge for 9,000 entrants from the Greater Boston area and beyond.

To support your coverage of this year’s event, please find event storylines and race information below. Media interested in covering the 2022 B.A.A. Half Marathon can submit credential requests here or email media@baa.org for more information. Credential pick-up will occur at the Media Tent within White Stadium on Sunday, beginning at 6:45 a.m. Additional details will be sent in the coming days to those who’ve requested credentials.

The B.A.A. Half Marathon will start at 8:00 a.m. this Sunday, November 13, from Franklin Park. The 13.1-mile course runs along the picturesque Emerald Necklace Park System, past area landmarks such as the Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park Zoo, before finishing at White Stadium in Franklin Park. A detailed course map can be found here.

- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund has partnered with the B.A.A. Half Marathon since 2003 as the race’s presenting sponsor and exclusive charity team. Through this relationship, Dana-Farber runners have collectively raised more than $8 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. A team of 400 athletes will be part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jimmy Fund team for this year’s event, having already raised nearly $350,000 to defy cancer.

- At the front of the field, Olympic and Paralympic medalists, Boston Marathon champions, and top international contenders will square off in pursuit of finishing atop the podium. Among the notable professional athletes entered are Olympic marathon bronze medalist and former Boston resident Molly Seidel, two-time Boston Marathon champions Lelisa Desisa and Daniel Romanchuk, and USA Olympian and former American half marathon record holder Molly Huddle. 

Seven women who’ve run under 1:08:30 and nine men with lifetime bests under 1:01:30 will compete on the roads of Boston. Desisa is also a two-time B.A.A. Half Marathon champion and the event record holder (1:00:34). Romanchuk aims to become the first athlete in history to podium at each of the B.A.A.’s four signature events (B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K, B.A.A. Half Marathon, and Boston Marathon). On Sunday he finished second at the TCS New York City Marathon in 1:27:38.

- For the first time, the B.A.A. Half Marathon will feature a Para Athletics Division showcasing athletes with lower-limb, upper-limb, and visual impairments. Competitors include Jacky Hunt-Broersma (T64, lower-limb impairment), who finished a Guinness World Record 104 marathons in 104 days this year; Marko Cheseto Lemtukei (T62, lower-limb impairment), who won the Para Athletics Division at the 2021 and 2022 Boston Marathons (timing 2:37:01 in April) and Brian Reynolds (T62, lower-limb impairment), who has run a world best 1:17 for the half marathon. The B.A.A. Half Marathon course is World Para Athletics record eligible, signaling that national or world records may be in jeopardy of falling on race day for wheelchair and Para athletes.

- Among the field of nearly 9,000 participants are 257 athletes also entered in April’s 127th Boston Marathon. Participants in this year’s B.A.A. Half Marathon are from 46 U.S. states (plus Washington, DC) and 95 countries.

- 1,418 participants are aiming to complete the 2022 B.A.A. Distance Medley, a three-race series which includes April’s B.A.A. 5K, June’s B.A.A. 10K, and November’s B.A.A. Half Marathon. The B.A.A. Distance Medley series provides athletes a year-long way to experience training and racing at three different distances, with the aim of improving fitness throughout the calendar year.  

- The B.A.A. Half Marathon is a family-friendly event for athletes and spectators of all ages. Free youth events will be offered on race morning within Franklin Park, including races and medals for all. Youth track races will begin on the White Stadium track at 8:20 a.m. Registration will open at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday.

- Spectators and runners are encouraged to download the B.A.A. Racing App powered by TCS for live race day tracking, leaderboards, results, custom selfie stations, course maps, information, and more. The B.A.A. Racing App is available for free within Apple iOS and Android.

- On display for viewing at the 2022 B.A.A. Half Marathon will be an Indigenous Peoples' Day Banner, created by Boston Art Institute alum Yatika Fields (Osage/Cherokee/Creek) which honors the Boston Marathon's Indigenous runners, past and present. Following the Awards Ceremony on race day, the banner will be blessed as it is sent from Boston to its home with Wings of America in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it will inspire young Native runners.

The blessing will be given by Hiawatha Brown (Narragansett), the longest serving Tribal Councilman, a Veteran of the United States Navy, and the nephew of two-time Boston Marathon Champion, Ellison 'Tarzan' Brown. Words will be offered from Robert Peters, a Mashpee Wampanoag artist who contributed his talent to the mural, on behalf of himself, Yatika Fields, and Wings of America Executive Director, Dustin Martin (Dine). Also in attendance will be Jordan Marie Daniel (Kul Wicasa Lakota) who is participating in the 2022 B.A.A. Half Marathon and is featured on the banner.

- A prize purse of $96,200 is available for professional athletes in the open, wheelchair, masters, and Para Athletics Divisions.

- Course records for the B.A.A. Half Marathon are:

Open Men: 1:00:34, Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia), 2013 (Lelisa Desisa is competing in this year’s race, aiming to win his third B.A.A. Half Marathon title)

Open Women: 1:07:40, Brillian Kipkoech (Kenya), 2019

Wheelchair Men: 53:07, Tony Nogueira (New Jersey), 2008 and 2004

Wheelchair Women: 1:00:43, Katrina Gerhard (Massachusetts), 2019.

(11/10/2022) Views: 985 ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

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Lelisa Desisa, Vicoty Chepngeno, Molly Seidel, Molly Huddle Running 2022 BAA Half

The Boston Athletic Association today announced the professional field for the 2022 B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, to be held on Sunday, November 13.

Two-time Boston Marathon champions Lelisa Desisa and Daniel Romanchuk return, while 2021 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Molly Seidel and two-time Olympian Molly Huddle lead the American charge. Seven women who’ve run under 1:07:30 and nine men with lifetime bests under 1:01:30 will compete on the roads of Boston.

The B.A.A. Half Marathon will be run for the first time in-person since 2019, beginning and finishing in Boston’s Franklin Park. The event begins at 8:00 a.m. with a field of nearly 9,000 participants. Open registration is already sold out, however entries remain available through presenting sponsor Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

Seidel, a former Boston resident, will make her B.A.A. Half Marathon debut as she returns to racing. The 2:24:42 marathoner and former NCAA champion at Notre Dame finished fifth at the 2018 B.A.A. 5K and 10th at the 2019 B.A.A. 10K.

Huddle, a 28-time USA national champion, will race at the B.A.A. Half eight years after placing third in 2014. B.A.A. High Performance team member Erika Kemp –a two-time USA national champion at 20K and 15K— will also compete among the strong American field, fresh off a win at the Boston 10K for Women on October 8.

“The B.A.A. Half Marathon is always a fun fall event, and I’m eager to race again through Boston with hopes of returning to the podium,” said Huddle.

The international women’s contingent is led by 2022 Houston Half Marathon winner Vicoty Chepngeno of Kenya, who owns the fastest lifetime best (1:05:03), though is followed closely by Ethiopia’s Bosena Mulatie (1:05:46). Mulatie was eighth at the 2022 World Athletics Championships 10,000m in Oregon over the summer. Other athletes with world championships experience include Kenya’s Margaret Wangari and Cynthia Limo, and British duo Jess Piasecki and Calli Thackery. Wangari earned a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games Marathon, and placed fifth at the B.A.A. Half Marathon in 2018. Limo is the 2016 World Half Marathon Championships silver medalist.

On the men’s side, Desisa, winner of the Boston Marathon in 2013 and 2015, owns a pair of B.A.A. Half Marathon titles from 2013 and 2014, as well as the event record (1:00:34). The Ethiopian fan favorite is also the event record holder (1:00:34), and considers Boston his second home.

“Boston holds a special place in my heart and I’m excited to return again to race in the B.A.A. Half Marathon, where I have had great success before,” said Desisa. “I hope to run very well again!”

Kenyans Josphat Tanui (59:22) and Shadrack Kimining (59:27) have the two fastest personal bests in the field, which includes five men who have run under one hour for the half marathon. Geoffrey Koech, the 2022 Cardiff Half winner, and Ethiopian Tsegay Kidanu, 11th at the Copenhagen Half Marathon, are competing, as is Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi, the third-place finisher at the 2022 B.A.A. 5K. The top American entrant is Teshome Mekonen, who formerly represented Ethiopia internationally, has run 1:00:02, and won this year’s Brooklyn Half.

Daniel Romanchuk, two-time Boston Marathon wheelchair division champion and 2019 B.A.A. 10K winner, looks to win his first B.A.A. Half title, joined by Boston Marathon top-20 finishers Hermin Garic, Dustin Stallberg and Velera Jacob Allen. Jenna Fesemyer and Yen Hoang, both 2021 Paralympians for Team USA, will race as well. Fesemyer won this year’s B.A.A. 5K.

“I’m very much looking forward to racing the B.A.A. Half Marathon for the first time,” said Romanchuk, who finished runner-up at the Chicago Marathon on October 9. “I’ve raced the Boston Marathon, B.A.A. 5K, and B.A.A. 10K, and am excited to add the Half Marathon. I can’t wait to be back in Boston.”

For the first time, the B.A.A. Half Marathon course will be World Para Athletics certified, eligible for world or national records to be set by Para athletes. Marko Cheseto Lemtukei (T62), Brian Reynolds (T62), and Jacky Hunt-Broersma (T64) each have Boston Marathon Para Athletics Divisions experience and are eligible for prize money.

(10/19/2022) Views: 893 ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. Half Marathon

B.A.A. Half Marathon

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for 13 years as the race’s presenting sponsor. Through this relationship, team members have collectively raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world. Dana-Farber runners often participate...

more...
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Kenya's Chebii and Chelimo Win 18th Annual B.A.A. Half Marathon

The winners of the men's and women's 2018 B.A.A. Half Marathon are Daniel Chebii and Joan Chelimo respectively. Chebii, a Kenyan has run the half marathon twice and won the B.A.A. 10k twice, won the men's race in 1:03:08. "To be a champion is something very great," he said. "So I am happy to be in Boston." To prepare for the half marathon, Chebii ran 21, 25 and 30ks. He says he is happy to be back in shape. Chelimo, also from Kenya, won the women's race in 1:09:34. She said her three-year-old daughter Ariana motivates her to keep going. "When I get tired in the race I just think about her," Chelimo said. “She was the one who keeps me going, being a mother actually,” she said. “So I’m so happy “It’s so amazing to win again in Boston, as I say Boston is my legacy. All the time I come and win, so for today I just feel so good to win again in Boston,” Chelimo said (photo).  It was an especially close race for the women. Through most of it, there was a group of 5 to 6 women vying to win. According to officials, 6,530 runners from 40 states and nearly 90 countries participated in this year's event.Many of the runners are raising money for cancer research. The race's director, David McGillvray, says charity is central to this race. "It's a combination of raising the level of self-esteem and self-confidence of people.” (10/07/2018) Views: 1,779 ⚡AMP
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Just having their healthy boy back is something that can never be repaid but Sarah Byrne would at least like to try

Thousands of children in the United States are diagnosed with some form of cancer each year.  There is a lot of research dedicated to the disease with a goal of finding a cure. Sarah Byrne had seen the emotionally devastating toll such a diagnosis can take on a family — but never could she imagine it happening in her family. Then, just two years after her and husband Seamus welcomed their second boy, Cian, into the world, they were given that news that no parent wants to hear: "Your son has cancer." "For us, it was kind of a mixed experience," said Byrne. "We had a former classmate and friend of ours have a son pass away from cancer, and then months later our son had it. So for us it was like, 'This is reality, this is happening to us.' During the process we met some amazing other families, many of which lost their children. It was very difficult." Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. Thanks to the tremendous treatment and tender compassion from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Cian, now six years old, has fully recovered. That dedication and around the clock care their son received is something Sarah and her family will never forget.  Just having their healthy boy back is something that can never be repaid — but Byrne would at least like to try. That's why she decided to run this Sunday's Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) Half Marathon in an effort to raise money for the foundation that saved her son's life. (10/05/2018) Views: 1,608 ⚡AMP
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