Kenya took charge at the 2021 Boston Marathon.
Benson Kipruto won the men's race in an unofficial time of 2:09:51, while countrywoman Diana Kipyogei claimed the women's race in an unofficial time of 2:24:45.
This was the first Boston Marathon in 30 months after last year's race was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Kipruto, it is his first Boston Marathon victory, though it is his second overall victory of the year after he won the 2021 Prague Marathon. Kipruto had also won the 2018 Toronto Marathon.
Kipyogei won the race in her debut. Kipyogei took charge 18 miles into the race, but was caught by Ethiopia's Netsanet Gudeta. Kipyogei then seized control around 24 miles.
Kipruto won fairly comfortably, pulling away near the 22-mile mark. The battle for second place, however, was much more tightly contested, as three Ethiopians — Lemi Berhanu (2:10.37), Jemal Yimer (2:10.38), and Tsedat Ayana (2:10.47) — were the next ones to cross the line.
Two American men claimed finishes in the Top 10, with Colin Bennie being the first to cross with an unofficial time of 02:11:26. CJ Abertson, who held a significant lead until the marathon's course became more elevated with hills, was eventually caught about 20 minutes shy of the two-hour mark and finished 10th with an unofficial time of 02:11:44.
On the women's side, Kenya placed the top four runners in the race, with Edna Kiplagat (02:25:09), Mary Ngugi (02:25:20) and Monicah Ngige (02:25:32) trailing Kipyogei.
The first American woman to cross was Nell Rojas (02:27:12), who finished in sixth place.
Meanwhile, Swiss racer Marcel Hug won the men's wheelchair division but committed a mistake that may have cost him $50,000. Hug won the race in 01:18:11 to claim his fifth career Boston Marathon men's wheelchair division title.
But Hug missed a turn Monday, forcing him to go back to get on the right path. The mistake cost him a few seconds. And, since he finished the race Monday just seven seconds off the course record he set in 2017 (1:18:4), it very likely cost him the chance to set a record and win the $50,000 bonus had he broken the mark.
This was the 125th running of the Boston Marathon, making it the world's oldest annually run marathon. This year's race was supposed to take place on the third Monday in April, as is customary, but it was postponed because COVID-19 cases were still at concerning levels.
All runners were required to have proof of vaccination or a negative test to participate. And, for the first time in Boston Marathon history, staggered start times were implemented to accommodate social distancing.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Boston Marathon 2021 results: Benson Kipruto, Diana Kipyogei win