Geoffrey Mutai stuns with a jaw-dropping 2:03:02 run in Boston (© Getty Images)
Organisers of the Boston Marathon have announced the full elite fields for the 120th edition of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on 18 April.
Following last month’s announcement that Lelisa Desisa will defend his title, 2011 winner Geoffrey Mutai and 2012 champion Wesley Korir will also return to Boston, forming an elite men’s field that includes 10 runners with PBs faster than 2:06.
Following his 2011 win in 2:03:02 on Boston’s record-ineligible course, Mutai won the New York City Marathon later that year in 2:05:06, smashing the course record by nearly three minutes. He recorded an official PB of 2:04:15 when winning in Berlin in 2012 and then regained his New York City Marathon title in 2013.
Before winning the Boston Marathon in 2012, Korir had twice won the Los Angeles Marathon. He also has five top-five finishes at the Chicago Marathon.
Yemane Tsegay and Wilson Chebet will also be returning to Boston, hoping to improve on their respective second and third-place finishes from last year.
Tsegay is the world silver medallist and has won marathons in Rotterdam, Ottawa, Daegu and Eindhoven. Chebet is a three-time winner in Amsterdam and a winner in Rotterdam.
After finishing second in Chicago for the past two years, Sammy Kitwara hopes that Boston will be the scene of his first marathon victory. His PB of 2:04:28 makes him the second-fastest man in the field.
Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Mekonnen ran 2:04:32 on his debut at the distance to win the 2014 Dubai Marathon while still a teenager. The Boston Marathon will be Mekonnen’s first race on US soil.
Getu Feleke is the sixth and last of the sub-2:05 men in the field. The 2010 Amsterdam winner set his PB of 2:04:50 when finishing second in Rotterdam in 2012.
Others in the field include 2015 Dubai champion Hayle Lemi Berhanu, Stephen Chebogut and Deribe Robi, the winner and runner-up respectively of last year’s Eindhoven Marathon, 2012 Tokyo Marathon winner Michael Kipyego, and Uganda’s Jackson Kiprop, the 10th-place finisher at the past two World Championships marathons.
Gelana set for Boston debut
Such is the quality of the women’s field, defending champion Caroline Rotich is only the 10th-fastest runner in the line-up.
Olympic champion Tiki Gelana has the fastest PB of the field. The 28-year-old, who holds the Ethiopian record of 2:18:58, will be making her Boston marathon debut. A strong performance could put her in line for Olympic selection.
Gelana will be joined in Boston by compatriots Buzunesh Deba, Tirfe Tsegaye, Mamitu Daska, Atsede Baysa and Tadelech Bekele.
Deba finished second in Boston in 2014 and third last year. Tsegaye has won marathons in Berlin, Tokyo, Paris and Dubai. Daska, a past winner over 10km and the half marathon in Boston, won the 2011 Frankfurt Marathon. Baysa has twice won in both Chicago and Paris. Bekele set her PB of 2:22:51 in Dubai last year.
Latvia’s two-time New York Marathon winner Jelena Prokopcuka will be making her fifth Boston Marathon appearance.
African and Commonwealth 10,000m champion Joyce Chepkirui was the only top-10 finisher from last year’s Boston Marathon to set a PB. She went on to smash her best with a 2:24:11 victory in Amsterdam.
Also in the field are 2013 Amsterdam winner Valentine Kipketer, Commonwealth champion Flomena Cheyech Daniel, Lisbon Marathon champion Purity Rionoripo, 2014 Beijing Marathon winner Fatuma Sado and two-time Vienna Marathon champion Fate Tola.
USA’s Neely Spence Gracey will make her highly anticipated marathon debut in Boston. Last year she set a half-marathon PB of 1:09:59.
Organisers for the IAAF
Elite field (with PBs)
Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) 2:04:15 (2:03:02)
Sammy Kitwara (KEN) 2:04:28
Tsegaye Mekonnen (ETH) 2:04:32
Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:04:45
Yemane Adhane Tsegay (ETH) 2:04:48
Getu Feleke (ETH) 2:04:50
Wilson Chebet (KEN) 2:05:27
Hayle Lemi Berhanu (ETH) 2:05:28
Stephen Chebogut (KEN) 2:05:52
Deribe Robi (ETH) 2:05:58
Wesley Korir (KEN) 2:06:13
Michael Kipyego (KEN) 2:06:48
Paul Lonyangata (KEN) 2:07:14
Jackson Kiprop (UGA) 2:09:32
Cuthbert Nyasango (ZIM) 2:09:52
Abdi Nageeye (NED) 2:10:24
Abdelmajid El Hissouf (MAR) 2:10:35
Solonei Da Silva (BRA) 2:11:32
Jordan Chipangama (ZAM) 2:11:35
Ian Burrell (USA) 2:13:26
Girma Mecheso (USA) debut
Tiki Gelana (ETH) 2:18:58
Buzunesh Deba (ETH) 2:19:59
Tirfi Tsegaye (ETH) 2:20:18
Mamitu Daska (ETH) 2:21:59
Atsede Baysa (ETH) 2:22:03
Flomena Cheyech Daniel (KEN) 2:22:44
Tadelech Bekele (ETH) 2:22:51
Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 2:22:56
Valentine Kipketer (KEN) 2:23:02
Caroline Rotich (KEN) 2:23:22
Joyce Chepkirui (KEN) 2:24:11
Fatuma Sado (ETH) 2:24:16
Purity Cherotich Rionoripo (KEN) 2:25:09
Fate Tola (ETH) 2:25:14
Lamei Sun (CHN) 2:27:55
Sarah Crouch (USA) 2:32:44
Neely Spence Gracey (USA) debut