Worknesh Degefa runs away with the women's race in Boston Boston 2019

Worknesh Degefa was fast and without fear. Ethiopia came 28 years to Boston Marathon Monday with the fastest time in the women's field, which took place in Dubai in January, when it was the fifth fastest in women's marathon history.

It turns out, it seems unsuccessful to run a national record in Ethiopia. Just three months later, she was here in Boston, breaking the field as she crossed the line in 2:23:31, 42 seconds before a series winner through the Marathon of Abbott World Marathon and champion Edna Kiplagat from Kenya and 1 49 before third place American Jordan Hasay (2:25:20). It was the first major survival of Marageon World Desktop.

Degefa made her move soon. As the race crossed from Ashland to Framingham, about five miles from the start, Degefa went away from the main package of 20 runners – running a 5:12 split, the fastest mile of the race – and continuing. She never stopped until she got to Boston. Degefa ran alone from Framingham to Boston, looking back at Natick and seeing only air and shadows.

“If I stayed longer [with the pack]She said, through interpreter Bruke Tadesse, “I might not do it. I knew I had some speed so I pushed myself after five miles. ”

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The thick lead pack with runners coming out of Hopkinton, as big as 30 with an American Sara Hall at the start. But it was not long before Degefa began to move forward, first with a step or two, then another step or two.

Sharon Cherop and Mare Dibaba approached Degefa for a mile or two, but when Degefa met Framingham's apartment, it was a woman's show. Under Mile 7, she had a 20 second lead and continued that direction when she picked out the towns along the famous 26.2 miles route. In Natick, her competitors no longer appeared on the road behind her.

The other runners let her go.

“When you see Degefa out, you know her ability from Dubai,” said Des Linden, champion of last year. “When she starts to describe thousands of fast, fast, you know her race is to be lost and I hope she will come back to the pack.”

She did not. His lead reached nearly three minutes at Mile 18 at the turn of the fire house in Newton.

And the hills of Newton that? It is not a question. She cut up one by one with the same constant speed, and her split mile is spread about 20 seconds to the leg but she never surrendered. Degefa is a relative new to the marathon, having run three previous marathons, all on the flat course in Dubai. But she dusted off Boston's infamous hills in the same way she dusted the competition.

Degefa said that her husband, who is also a coach, told her if she felt comfortable “just going.”

She went.

Of course, she didn't really know where she was going, but she followed the TV truck, the only companion she had on the road. Before she came to Boston for the marathon, Degefa never saw the course. “Although I have never seen the course, I watched all the marathon cover on television last year, 'said Degefa,' and I reminded that video today. ”

Kiplagat was in charge of the chase package, including Hasay and Linden. The group made many tactical movements and Linden felt he wanted to advise his American companion.

“We were in the back and she was covering [moves] many, ”Linden said. “I told her to be patient. There are many emotional decisions and you know that we were operating as a USA Team and would like to see people from here. Sometimes it is also for me to tell myself something. Just say high so I can hear it. ”

Kiplagat tried to charge a charge of about 15 miles and may have been successful because Degefa finally slipped on the hills.

“When they broke up on a mile 5 the three of them were and so I thought the gap was not big, but after, like, 15 miles, we had closed the second group gap, the two women ahead,” Kiplagat said. “I thought, if I could continue to increase the speed, that I could get it before the finish line; as I am [broke away] At the 35K from the group, I decided to move strongly but when I was 38K I realized that the race is almost more and the gap is still great. So I knew I didn't do it. ”

Degefa also considered that the 35K mark was crucial.

“I knew after passing 35K,“ she said, “I think I'm back in a winner.”

Barbara Matson can be found at


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