Cambridge’s Molly Seidel persevered in the women’s marathon to win bronze

Lintao Zhang
Molly Seidel of Team USA runs with the lead pack in the women's marathon. She finished third.

Molly Seidel, a native of Brookfield, Wisc., and now a Cambridge, Mass., resident, claimed the bronze medal in the Olympic women’s marathon, holding on through heat and humidity and finishing in 2:27.46 behind Kenyans Peres Jepchirchir (gold and Brigid Kosgei).

Jepchirchir finished in a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes, 20 seconds in a race moved up an hour to avoid the heat. A smattering of fans lining the course applauded as the Tokyo Games moved north for the marathons and race walks. Her teammate Kosgei was second in 2:27.36 and Seidel, a relative newcomer to the marathon stage, took home the bronze.

A race that was moved to Sapporo to avoid the extreme heat in Tokyo found little relief on a winding course through the city. The starter’s gun went off a minute after 6 a.m. local time under sunny skies and with a temperature reading of 77 degrees Fahrenheit . It climbed to nearly 86 degrees near the finish, with a humidity of around 65 percent.


There were 88 runners entered in the field, with more than a dozen recording a did not finish. That included world champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya.


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