Top 3 at the USA Olympic Marathon Trials, from right: Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman (© Getty Images)
Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman are among the top names in the US line up announced today for the Boston Marathon on April 15, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
Other leading Americans include Jason Hartmann, Fernando Cabada, Serena Burla, Stephanie Rothstein, and Alissa McKaig. They join the previously-announced duo Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan in the US line-up, while Kenyan duo Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop will return to defend their titles.
Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist, placed fifth in Boston in 2010 and third in 2006. A former winner of the New York Marathon, last year Keflezighi won the US Trials and went on to finish fourth at the London Olympics.
"As I come towards the end of my running career, there are still a few goals I want to achieve; winning the Boston Marathon is one of them,” said Keflezighi. “The fans and crowds in Boston are amazing! Both times I've run the Boston Marathon I was cheered on enthusiastically. I hope the third time is the charm!"
Hall has run Boston three times, each time finishing in the top four. In 2011 he ran 2:04:58, the fastest time ever achieved by an American on the course. The two-time Olympian holds the American records in the 20km, the Half-marathon and 30km. Last year he finished second at the US Olympic Trials but failed to finish at the Games in London.
“Boston, as with so many other marathoners, holds a special place in my heart and mind,” said Hall. “Having been a part of the fastest marathon ever run on the planet in 2011, I know what is possible at Boston and what can be done on that course. I believe that each time I race Boston I get to know the course better and learn how to race it smarter. I am sure that this year’s race will be my best yet.”
Abdirahman is best known for his 10,000m prowess and has represented the US three times in that event at the Olympic Games between 2000 and 2008. Since moving up to the Marathon, he has finished in the top five at both the Chicago and New York City Marathons, although he too failed to finish at the Games last summer.
“I’m so happy to be running the Boston Marathon this spring,” said Abdirahman. “It is one of the greatest and oldest marathons in the world and it has long been a dream of mine to run here.”
Hartmann was the top US finisher at last year’s Boston Marathon, running a strategic race to finish fourth. Cabada holds his own worthy credentials as the American record-holder in the 25km. He has also competed on three IAAF World Championships teams for the USA.
Goucher has run Boston twice, finishing third in 2009 and fifth in 2011 in a PB of 2:24:52, making her the fourth-fastest American of all time. Two 2007 World 10,000m bronze medallist finished 11th in the London Olympic Marathon.
Flanagan is the 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist and American record-holder in that event. She also took the bronze medal at the 2011 World Cross Country Championships, and last year finished tenth in the Marathon at the London Olympics.
Burla was diagnosed with a malignant soft-tissue tumour in her hamstring in 2010, shortly after finishing runner up at the US Half-marathon Championships behind Flanagan. After radical surgery and a positive recovery, Burla defied the odds to again finish runner up at the 2011 US Half-marathon Championships. She then had a breakthrough marathon race in early 2012 with a 2:28:27 third-place finish in Seoul.
Rothstein has finished in the top three at both the 2012 Honolulu Marathon and the 2011 Houston Marathon. McKaig represented the US at the 2011 World Championships and the World Cross Country Championships earlier this year.
The complete international field for the 2013 Boston Marathon will be announced later this month.
Organisers for the IAAF