Elk River’s Emma Bates finishes 5th at Boston Marathon, qualifies for 2024 Olympics

Elk River native finishes 5th in Boston Marathon

Elk River native finishes 5th in Boston Marathon

An Elk River native made Minnesota proud Monday, finishing fifth in the Boston Marathon.

Thirty-year-old Emma Bates led late in the race before falling back but finished in 2:22.10, which is the second-fastest time ever for an American woman at the Boston Marathon, according to the Boston Athletic Association. That time also qualifies her for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“I was at mile 20 looking at my coach like, ‘I don’t know what’s happening, but I’m going to go with it,’” Bates told The Associated Press. “It was really surreal for the longest time.”

Bates graduated from Elk River High School in 2010. Her mother, Michelle, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she couldn’t be more proud of her daughter’s performance in Boston.

“I couldn’t sit down,” Michelle Bates said. “I was just in awe. She’s putting herself out there. She’s being so courageous. She’s being so brave to do something she hasn’t done before.”

Bates entered Monday’s race with both of her top five world major finishes coming in Chicago where she was second in 2021 and fourth in 2019.

Hellen Obiri, a two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 5,000 meters, ultimately claimed the women’s top spot on the podium Monday, maneuvering down the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 38 seconds. Amane Beriso of Ethiopia was second, 12 seconds back, followed another seven seconds behind by Israeli Lonah Salpeter. Obiri’s victory also completed a Kenyan sweep on the day, with Evans Chebet winning his second straight title in the men’s race.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.