I was able to attend the 105th running of the Boston Marathon in 2001. My goal was to photograph the Kenyan marathoners. I was between the 23rd and 24th miles of the race route. Maybe you saw me… I had on a purple jacket and my friend was holding a red sign with black letters that said “Twende Mkenya!” that means “Let’s go Kenyan” in Swahili.
I managed to photograph all ten of the Kenyan runners. Below are eight of those runners. Two of the pictures were not close enough. My pictures came out great on paper, but seemed to have scanned darker than I wanted.
Catherine Ndereba. She won the women’s division with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 53 seconds. This is the second time she has won. Catherine won last year as well. This year her three year old daughter was waiting for her at the finish line.
Lornah Kiplagat. She came in fourth this year. Last year she was third. Lornah came into this race with a different strategy, but that didn’t seem to help her finish any further ahead. Last year she found that she had dehydrated and was a little tired from her trip to the US (she arrived just two days before the race). This year she tried to drink more water and arrived seven days before the marathon.
Joshua Chelang’a. Finished third with a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 29 seconds. Joshua was the highest finishing Kenyan in the men’s division this year. The decade old Kenyan dynasty was broken by Korean Lee Bong-ju. Joshua is on the far left in this picture, Lee in the middle, with Silvio Guerra (finished 2nd) from Ecuador on the right. This was Joshua’s first marathon.
David Kiptum Busieni. Finished 4th. Last year in Amsterdam, David placed 3rd with a time of 2 hours 10 minutes 38 seconds.
Mbarak Hussein. Finished 5th. Mbarak won the 1998 Honolulu marathon. His brother, Ibrahim Hussein, won the Boston Marathon in 1988, 1991, and 1992.
Timothy Cherigat. Finished 9th.
Shem Kororia. Finished 13th. Shem took 3rd place in the 1999 NYC Marathon. He does most of his racing in Europe.
Elijah Lagat. Finished 15th. He took first place last year. I was very surprised to see him lagging way behind the leaders this year. Apparently, after the first few kilometers, Elijah was having back pains that he couldn’t shake off.
Moses Tanui, the 1996 & 1998 men’s champion, finished a disappointing 10th place.
Joseph Chebet, the 1999 men’s winner, dropped out. I have a picture of him so I know he made it to the 24th mile. He even smiled at us when he saw our sign. If you saw what happened – please email. I’m curious as to what happened after he passed me.
All in all, the Kenyan men still did well taking 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, and 15th places.
So, those are my pictures. I plan on going next year. Yes, I’ll have a sign in Swahili and will probably be in the same spot harassing, er cheering, the Kenyan runners. Will Catherine Ndereba have a ‘three-peat’ next year? I hope so!