scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri and daughter capture hearts with finish line greeting

Hellen Obiri, Evans Chebet win elite races
Obiri takes title in just second Marathon; Defending champ Chebet holds off field, Kipchoge. (Courtesy of B.A.A. and ESPN/WCVB)

See the triumph of Marathon Monday with our recap of the race

With a spirited, last mile-surge, Hellen Obiri, 33, crossed the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street as a champion. It was only her second marathon to date — and she did it in a time of 2:21:38.

Awaiting her with a beaming smile and look of tender admiration was her 7-year-old daughter, Tania.

Obiri, of Kenya, finished sixth in New York this past November. She is a two-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 5k, according to her World Athletics profile.


After her win, as she stood by her husband, Tom Nyaundi, and their daughter, Obiri said she had been anxious about racing in Boston given the strength of the field she would be competing against — and the fact her “heart was somewhere else.” She moved to the United States just three weeks ago.

But her coach convinced her and she persevered, buoyed by the overwhelming support of her family.

“It’s a surprise to me,” Obiri said with a smile, the New York Times reported. She added that Tania often motivates her, asking her inquisitive questions like, “You can’t be number one?”

“So I try to make them happy because sometimes I don’t want to go, but something tells you to try to keep on fighting,” she continued. “So I kept on fighting.”

When Tania was asked by a WCVB reporter how she thought her mom performed, she looked up with a grin and wide eyes. “Good,” she said.

She had no pointers to offer her mom, responding an affirmative “yeah,” when asked if she thought Obiri did well in the fabled road race.

The sweet interaction between mother and daughter easily won over hearts online, with many calling the moment “adorable” and the “highlight of the race.”


Hellen Obiri of Kenya is greeted by her husband Tom Nyaundi and her daughter Tania after winning the women's division of the 127th Boston Marathon, Monday, April 17, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Read more about the Boston Marathon

Shannon Larson can be reached at Follow her @shannonlarson98.