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Elite field: World record holder Kipchoge makes Boston Marathon debut

by | Apr 14, 2023 | Featured

2022 Boston Marathon

The professional male runners take off at the start of the 2022 Boston Marathon. PHOTO/JERRY SPAR

The field of professional athletes for the 127th Boston Marathon includes women from 18 countries and men from 21 in the open, wheelchair and para athletics divisions. Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge, a double Olympic gold medalist and the men’s marathon world record holder, headlines this year’s race. Kipchoge ran 2 hours, 1 minute, 9 seconds at the Berlin Marathon last fall and has run four of the six fastest marathons ever. He will be making his Boston debut. Fourteen other men slated to compete have run faster than 2:07. Sixteen women in the field hold personal bests faster than 2:21.

Young talent will challenge veteran Boston runners in the women’s field. Lining up in Hopkinton will be previous Boston champions Des Linden (2018), Kenyan Edna Kiplagat (2017, 2021) and Ethiopian Atsede Baysa (2016). Linden, a Michigander, has been in Boston recently training on the course. The second- and third-place finishers from 2022, Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh and Kenyan Mary Ngugi, will challenge for the laurel wreath. Kenya’s Sharon Lokedi and Israel’s Lonah Salpeter took first and second at the New York City Marathon last fall and plan to make their Boston debuts, along with Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso, who ran the third-fastest women’s marathon time ever four months ago.

Some U.S. runners shooting for top spots include Sara Hall, Olympian Aliphine Tuliamuk, Emma Bates, Nell Rojas, Dakotah Lindwurm, Laura Thweatt, Annie Frisbie, Sara Vaughn and Erika Kemp.

Boston women’s wheelchair course record holder and four-time champion Manuela Schär of Switzerland will battle Susannah Scaroni (USA), Tokyo Paralympic gold medalist Madison de Rozario (Australia) and five-time Boston winner Tatyana McFadden (USA) for Boston supremacy.

Any open or wheelchair division athlete who breaks a course record will receive a $50,000 bonus. This prize money is in addition to money for the top 10 finishers in the men’s and women’s open and wheelchair races, as well as some prize money for masters runners and para athletes. The open records are 2:03:02 by Geoffrey Mutai and 2:19:59 by Buzunesh Deba, while wheelchair records are 1:18:04 by Marcel Hug and 1:28:17 by Schär.

In the men’s open race, favorites to challenge Kipchoge include defending Boston Marathon champion Evans Chebet and 2021 winner Benson Kipruto, both of Kenya, and two-time victor Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, as well as Gabriel Geay, the Tanzanian record holder.

Top U.S. men include last year’s seventh-place finisher and top American Scott Fauble, running his fourth Boston, and Boston rookie Conner Mantz, who will take on the Boston course for the first time after a 2:08:16 debut at Chicago last fall.

American Daniel Romanchuk will try to defend his title in the men’s wheelchair division. He also won Boston in 2019 (1:21:36). Hug will be trying for his sixth Boston win, as well as trying to break his own course record.

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