Kenyan pair Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop triumphed in their respective fields as over 22,000 runners encountered soaring temperatures of up to 26C in Monday's (April 16) Boston Marathon. In what was the slowest winning time since 2007, Korir, 29, finished the race in 2:12:40, almost 10 minutes slower than Geoffrey Mutai's performance last year.
The men's field saw a Kenyan top three with Levy Matebo second in 2:13:06 and Bernard Kipyego third with 2:13:13. Indeed, such was the level of Kenyan domination in the race, seven of the top ten runners hailed from the East African country. Last year's winner, Geoffrey Mutai, was forced to give up after 18 miles due to suffering from cramps.
In the women's field, Cherop (2:31:50) prevailed in a close contest with Jemima Jelagat Sumgong, beating her compatriot by just two seconds. Georgina Rono, again of Kenya, took third position with a time of 2:33:09.
The high temperatures resulted in over 2000 runners being treated for dehydration and heat exhaustion as they made their way along the 26.1 mile route. The number of participants requiring medical attention was said to be over 1000 higher than typical Boston Marathons.
Such was the concern over the humid conditions, over 4,300 runners withdrew prior to the race. Organisers of the event have said participants could chose to run in the 2012 competition if they had decided to sit this year out.