More Than a Runner- Edna Kiplagat, the Second Place Boston Marathon Winner

Source: -> Sandrock, Michael. “Boulder Native Fastest U.S. Female Runner at 125th Boston Marathon.” Boulder Daily Camera, Boulder Daily Camera, 16 Oct. 2021,

Source: -> Sandrock, Michael. “Boulder Native Fastest U.S. Female Runner at 125th Boston Marathon.” Boulder Daily Camera, Boulder Daily Camera, 16 Oct. 2021,

Emma Ortiz (she/her), Reporter

On Monday, October 11, 2021, Niwot High School mom Edna Kiplagat won second place in the 125th Annual Boston Marathon. This isn’t the first time Kiplagat has found a victory in the Boston Women’s Elite Marathon. But Kipligat has had a life that was made up of much more than running, so who is she really, aside from a world renowned marathon runner?


Kiplagat has been running her whole life, but after placing first at the Los Angeles Marathon and the New York City Marathon in 2010, she was able to establish herself as an elite long distance marathon runner. Ever since then, Kiplagat has run (and won) a marathon almost every year. These marathons consist of the 2011 Women’s Championships Marathon, New York Mini 10k in 2012, 2013 World Athletics Championships, 2014 London Marathon, and many, many more. Her debut of competing in the Boston Marathon started in 2017, when she won first place in a time of 2:21:52 hours at the age of 37. After her win, Kiplagat said in an interview, “I have done almost everything in our sport, but it was one of my dreams to run Boston, the world’s oldest marathon.” After 2017, Kipligat proceeded to race the Boston marathon every year, except for 2020, which was the year of COVID-19. Placing 9th in 2018 and 2nd in 2019, she came back in 2021 to win second place once again. John Powers of The Boston Globe describes Kiplagat as “a 41-year-old immortal who has won two global crowns, broke 2:22 when she won here in 2017, and was runner-up two years ago.” But winning the marathon isn’t like winning just any other marathon. Boulder Daily Camera describes the Boston Marathon as “the most prestigious marathon in the world, having started in 1897, the year after the inaugural Olympic marathon. Many of the greats have run and won there.”


There is no doubt that Kiplagat is one of the top long distance runners in the world, but after looking more clearly into her life, it is clear that her life is filled with her passion for both running and her family. Born in Kapkoi Village, Kenya, second youngest to a family of six, Kiplagat has a family story that excels more than anything else. After giving birth to two biological children, she and her husband adopted three more children. When talking of her children, Kiplagat says that she is “so proud they are in our lives. To be a talented athlete who is a wife and a mother is not that hard.” The first two children who Kiplagat adopted were her sisters’ children. She took them as her own after her sister died of breast cancer in 2003. 


After Kiplagat broke the rope and claimed victory at the 2017 Boston Marathon, Carlos and his sister, Wendy, were waiting eagerly at the other side of the finish line to greet their mom. “I’m so happy they are here with me today,” she stated. explained that after completing the race, she didn’t stop running but followed up until she got to go hug her children. “Edna Kiplagat kept going — directly into the embrace of two of her children,” they said.


Kiplagat is also passionate about helping others around her accomplish what they want to. After she and her husband (Gilbert Koech) rose to renown, they have focused on promoting running in children’s lives. They do this by creating an agreement with Markwa Secondary School in Kenya. This agreement allows Kiplagat and Koech to aid talented athletes both in sports and in their academic goals.


Source: -> “Gallery: The 125th Boston Marathon.” Canadian Running Magazine, 12 Oct. 2021,


“I attribute the success to discipline, which is the most important. Focus, determination and above all, the support I receive from my husband; what has aided me most is having a spouse who understands what I do,” Kiplagat says. It is amazing to see the impact that running has had on Kiplagat, her family, and her community. She not only is full of talent and love but also has a big heart for the people around her. Congratulations to a well-deserved 2nd-place victory at the Boston Marathon! We are proud to know you as a Niwot mom!