8 Fastest Winning Times In Boston Marathon History

The Boston Marathon, a 26.2-mile (42.2-km) marathon run in the Greater Boston region of Massachusetts since 1897, is one of the six World Marathon Majors. Before 2020, it had been the longest-running annual marathon in the world.

Running the Boston Marathon requires you to be among the best in the world. The marathon has attracted some of the world’s greatest runners. Everybody wishes they had the stamina, physical strength, focus, and agility of these runners. Several athletes have broken records at the Boston Marathon over the years.

See here for the all-time quickest winning times at the Boston Marathon.

8. Bill Rodgers

Time: 2:09:27
Year: 1979
Distance: 26.2 miles (42.2 km)
 Country of Origin: United States

Bill Rodgersphoto source:  Charity Miles

William “Bill” Rodgers is a former American marathon record holder best remembered for his four marathon victories, three of which came in a row between 1978 and 1980 at the Boston Marathon and two more, in 1976 and 1980, at the New York City Marathon.

Between 1975 and 1980, Rodgers won both events four times each, twice breaking the American record at Boston with performances of 2:09:55 in 1975 and 2:09:27 in 1979. After winning the Fukuoka Marathon in 1977, he became the first and only runner in history to simultaneously hold the champion title at the world’s three most prestigious marathons.

He made the 1976 U.S. Olympic squad and finished 40th in the marathon at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Did You Know:

On December 3, 1999, Rodgers was inducted into the Los Angeles National Track & Field Hall of Fame.

7. Toshihiko Seko

Time: 2:09:26
Year: 1981
Distance: 26.2 miles (42.2 km)
 Country of Origin: Japan

Toshihiko Sekophoto source:  Runner’s Tribe

Toshihiko Seko is a former long-distance runner from Japan. In the 1980s, he was a marathon contender of world-class caliber. In 1984 and 1988, he represented his country in the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Fukuoka Marathon (1978–1981, 1983), Boston Marathon (1981, 1987), London Marathon (1986), and Chicago Marathon (1986) are among Seko’s most famous marathon victories (1986). In addition, Seko is an S & B Foods Track Team coach and a Tokyo 2016 Olympics Advisory Panel member as of 2005.

Did You Know:

Seko is a coach for the S & B Foods Track Team and a Tokyo 2016 Olympic Advisory Committee member as of 2005.

6. Alberto Salazar

Time: 2:08:52
Year: 1982
Distance: 26.2 miles (42.2 km)
 Country of Origin: United States

Alberto Salazarphoto source:  The Times

Alberto Salazar was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1958. Salazar attended high school in Wayland, Massachusetts, after moving there from Manchester, Connecticut, where he had previously resided. At U.S.-U.S.S.R. junior track meets, he twice won the 5,000 meters and established a national junior record in the two-mile.

In 1982, he won the Boston Marathon for the first and only time, following a spectacular race against Dick Beardsley. Salazar won the race in a thrilling sprint finish before collapsing and being administered six liters of saline solution intravenously since he had not consumed anything during the race.

Salazar won the 90-kilometer (56-mile) Comrades Marathon from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 39 seconds in 1994, following several years of not running competitively. A few weeks later, ruptured ankle tendons and surgery that indicated irreparable damage prompted him to resign.

Did You Know:

In 1997, Salazar was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.

5. Robert de Castella

Time: 2:07:51
Year: 1986
Distance: 26.2 miles (42.2 km)
 Country of Origin: Australia

Robert de Castellaphoto source:  Runner’s Tribe

Robert de Castella, often known as “Deek,” competed in the men’s marathon at the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980, Los Angeles in 1984, Seoul in 1988, and Barcelona in 1992. He ran his finest race in Los Angeles and came the closest to the podium, placing fifth in 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 9 seconds.

When De Castella won the Fukuoka Marathon in 1981, he set a new world record by more than two minutes. When compared to the record established by Alberto Salazar at the 1981 New York City Marathon, De Castella’s time was five seconds slower.

However, it was later determined that the New York course was 148 meters short, and De Castella’s time was validated as the world record.

Deek won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane the following year. Then, when the Athletics World Championships were first held in Helsinki, Finland, in 1983, he won the marathon to bring Australia its first gold medal in the sport.

Additionally, he won the Boston Marathon in 1986 with a time of 2:07:51. Deek’s outstanding competitive running career ended with a 33rd-place finish at the 1993 London Marathon (2:19:44).

Did You Know:

Starting in 1990, De Castella served as the institute’s director until 1995.

4. Cosmas Ndeti

Time: 2:07:15
Year: 1994
Distance: 26.2 miles (42.2 km)
 Country of Origin: Kenya

Cosmas Ndetiphoto source:  World Athletics

Cosmas Ndeti, born on November 24, 1971, is the only person to have ever won the Boston Marathon thrice. He triumphed in the competition in 1993, 1994, and 1995 and was the only person to have ever won the Boston Marathon three times. He succeeded in the competition in 1993, 1994, and 1995.

In 1994, he ran the marathon in a time of 2:07:15, which was not only the greatest performance in the marathon that year but also the course record.

When Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, also from Kenya, won the race in 2006, he did so one second faster than the previous course record, which had stood for 11 years.

After failing a test for ephedrine in the 1988 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, he was handed a doping suspension that lasted for three months. As a result, he became the first person in Kenyan history to be banned for doping.

Did You Know:

After competing in the 1996 New York Marathon, the 1997 Fukuoka Marathon, and the 2000 Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon, he retired in 2003 due to persistent ailments and inadequate preparation.

3. Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot

Time: 2:07:14
Year: 2006
Distance: 26.2 miles (42.2 km)
 Country of Origin: Kenya

Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyotphoto source:  Wikipedia

Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, a member of the Nandi tribe, was a successful runner in high school, but he suffered for two years after graduating when his parents divorced. Before he joined the training camps of former Boston Marathon champions Cosmas N’Deti and Moses Tanui, he lived with his mother and later his father, and he finally faced a hardscrabble existence on his own.

In 2006, Cheruiyot rose to the forefront of marathon running, winning the 110th Boston Marathon in April with a course record of 2 hours, 7 minutes, and 14 seconds and the Chicago Marathon in October in 2 hours, 7 minutes, and 35 seconds.

On April 21, 2008, with a time of 2:07:45, he won his fourth Boston Marathon championship, becoming the first four-time winner in the men’s open category since Bill Rodgers.

Did You Know:

In April 2009, Cheruiyot began the Boston Marathon but could not complete it and was sent to the hospital.

2. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot

Time: 2:05:52
Year: 2010
Distance: 26.2 miles (42.2 km)
 Country of Origin: Kenya

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyotphoto source:  Wikipedia

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, a native of Bomet, Rift Valley Province, Kenya, made his international debut at the 2008 Frankfurt Marathon. He surprised everyone, including himself, by winning the race in a course record of 2:07:21.

In 2010, Cheruiyot won the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:05:52, which was more than a minute faster than the previous course record. His next significant performance came in the 2010 Chicago Marathon; however, he was below his previous form, finishing in sixth place nearly three minutes behind winner Samuel Wanjiru.

Returning to defend his championship, he ran the 2011 Boston Marathon in a respectably fast 2:06:43 but finished sixth, more than three and a half minutes behind Geoffrey Mutai.

Did You Know:

Despite their names frequently referenced in news articles, he is not related to Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, the former Boston course record holder.

1. Geoffrey Mutai

Time: 2:03:02
Year: 2011
Distance: 26.2 miles (42.2 km)
 Country of Origin: Kenya

Geoffrey Mutaiphoto source:  Wikimedia Commons

Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon ever, on April 18, 2011, at the Boston Marathon, in 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 2 seconds. However, the International Association of Athletics Federations did not recognize this time as a world record because the Boston course did not meet the requirements for a world record.

Mutai was aided by a 15- to 20-mile-per-hour tailwind while he ran in the heat at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

Geoffrey Kiprono Mutai is a Kenyan long-distance runner who specializes in road-running competitions. He was born on October 7, 1981. Among his other notable triumphs is the Monaco Marathon. In addition, he has won the Valencia Half Marathon and excels in the half marathon. He has won multiple half marathons in less than an hour against shorter-distance specialists, placed sixth at last year’s global cross-country championships, and ran a 10,000-meter track race in 27:27.

This final statistic may not seem very impressive, except that it was run at an altitude of almost 1,500 meters in Nairobi. His winning time for the 2011 New York City Marathon was 2 hours, 5 minutes, and 6 seconds.

Did You Know:

At the 2013 RAK Half Marathon, he broke 59 minutes for the half marathon for the first time, although his time of 58:58 was only good enough for third place in the speedy race.

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