2024 Boston Marathon

Cooper Teare, Fotyen Tesfay Take It Up A Notch In Boston 5K

Cooper Teare, Fotyen Tesfay Take It Up A Notch In Boston 5K

The Boston 5K featured some steady performances on Saturday, including a new record time in the women's division.

Apr 13, 2024 by David Monti

BOSTON -- Cooper Teare and Fotyen Tesfay won the 14th annual Boston 5K presented by Point32Health on the streets of Back Bay to kick off Boston Marathon weekend on Saturday.   

Teare, the reigning U.S. cross country champion who represents Nike, used the leg speed that made him a 3:50 miler to win in a sprint finish in 13:38. Tesfay, an Ethiopian who won the B.A.A. Half Marathon here last November, bolted away from the field right from the start to win in a course record 14:45.  

Both athletes won $7,500 in prize money, but Tesfay earned an additional $5,000 for setting a new course record.

The men's race set up perfectly for Teare. He allowed Kenya's Alex Masai of HOKA Northern Arizona Elite to control the pace through the first mile (4:35) and stayed tucked in a lead pack of about a dozen contenders.

"I got through the first mile and I was like, 'This is the easiest thing I've ever done,'" Teare told Race Results Weekly. "By the time I hit two miles, I was like, 'Am I going to finish?'"

That's because the second mile went down in 4:28, again with Masai in the front. But in the third mile the pace softened a bit and Teare and the other contenders -- like Drew Hunter (adidas/Tinman Elite) and Ben Flanagan (On Running/Very Nice Track Club) -- got a chance to catch their breath and get ready for the final sprint.

"Really the last K was about just staying in contact," Teare continued.  "Lalo got about 10 meters on us, so that was a little bit scary."

"Lalo" is Mexico's Eduardo Herrera (Under Armour), who was the first to show his cards and surge to the front. Teare was confident in his kick and didn't want to waste any energy too soon. He methodically worked his way up.

"I tried to just go through the gears one at a time," Teare explained. "We got into the final chute and I kind of took the lead coming off that turn and drive it home."

Teare got a fight from both Hunter and Herrera but was able to hold them off. Hunter took the runner-up spot just one second behind Teare in 13:39 and Herrera was less than a step behind Hunter and was given the same time in third place.  

Flanagan, a Canadian who finished second last year, got fourth in 13:43.

"It's amazing," said Teare when asked what it meant to win a big race like this early in the season.  He continued: "Just happy to be here, really."

Hunter, the 2021 USATF 5K road running champion, was pleased with his runner-up finish.  He said that he planned to focus on longer distances this year (he ran 27:38.87 for 10,000m last month).

"It was kind of like Lalo made a move, me and Cooper covered the move," Hunter said. "Then like we hit that 200m to go mark and it was just like, gauging on how hard to sprint. Cooper gapped me and the gap kind of stayed the same in the last 200 meters. I was happy with it."

Tesfay ran a completely different kind of race. The adidas athlete bolted from the start, clipped through the first mile in a brisk 4:43, and the second in 4:47. She had Kenya's Emmaculate Acholi (Nike) for company through the first mile, but had a five-second lead by the second. 

From there, she simply ran against the clock -- or more accurately, her watch.

"I came to break the course record," Tesfay said through an interpreter.  "I did, and I'm so happy."  She added: "I always run by the watch.  Even though I trained very well back home in Ethiopia I always compare my time with the course (record)."

The previous record was set by another Ethiopian, Senbere Teferi, who ran 14:49 in 2022. Teferi is running Monday's marathon here, an event that Tesfay says she would like to do some day.  

If Tesfay were ever to win the Boston Marathon, she would become the only athlete to win the Boston 5K, the B.A.A. Half-Marathon and the Boston Marathon.

"I'm staying with middle distance, long distance (for now)," she said. "In the future I will definitely run Boston."

Acholi was a clear second in 14:59, followed by another Kenyan, Esther Gitahi, who took third in 15:08. 

Gitahi just edged locally-based Annie Rodenfels, a steeplechaser who is an excellent road racer. Rodenfels was given the same time.

Dakota Lindwurm (Puma/Minnesota Distance Elite), who took third at February's U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon, finished 15th. She used today's race to break up her training for the Olympic Marathon and work on her speed.

"My legs are on fire," she told Race Results Weekly moments after finishing.

The wheelchair titles went to Switzerland's Marcel Hug in 10:18 and Britain's Eden Rainbow Cooper in 12:04.  Hug also won the race last year.

Over 9,000 runners finished today's race, which was held in nearly ideal conditions with cool temperatures and mostly clear skies.  


* Story written by David Monti of Race Results Weekly

Boston Marathon Results

Results from the race can be found on the Boston Marathon website.

How To Watch The Boston Marathon In The United States

The Boston Marathon is being broadcast on ESPN2 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The race will also be available on ESPN+ in the United States. 

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