Organisers of the Boston Marathon announced today that no fewer than five former winners of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race will be on the start line on 20 April.
Defending champion Meb Keflezighi’s participation was revealed earlier this month when the US field was announced. He will be joined by Lelisa Desisa and Wesley Korir in the men’s race, while Kenyan duo Sharon Cherop and Caroline Kilel will face each other for the third time at the Boston Marathon.
In addition, the fields include multiple winners of medals at global championships as well as a handful of big city marathon winners and a former world record-holder.
The chase for the 2015 men’s title will be aggressive. 10 men in the field have run faster than 2:06:30 and seven of them have PBs faster than 2:05:30.
Former marathon world record-holder and two-time Berlin champion Patrick Makau leads the group. Makau recently won the challenging 2014 Fukuoka Marathon and is also a past winner of marathons in Frankfurt and Rotterdam.
Lelisa Desisa, the 2013 Boston Marathon champion and world silver medallist, will challenge for the win as will two-time world champion Abel Kirui.
Multiple world half-marathon champion Zersenay Tadese will be making his Boston Marathon debut. The Eritrean still holds the world record for the half marathon and has won global medals on the track and cross-country.
World bronze medallist Tadese Tola is also in the field, as is fellow Ethiopian Yemane Tsegay, who has won eight global marathons.
This group will face further competition from all three podium finishers in 2014: Keflezighi, Wilson Chebet and Frankline Chepkwony.
Former Olympic silver medallist Keflezighi brings experience and a strategic approach to the course. Chebet is a three-time winner in Amsterdam and a Rotterdam champion, while Chepkwony is a past Seoul and Zurich champion.
Also racing with valuable course experience are Wesley Korir, Gebregziabher Gebremariam and Bernard Kipyego. Korir won the Boston Marathon in 2012 in extreme heat. Former New York Marathon champion Gebremariam has twice finished third in Boston. Kipyego won in Amsterdam last year and has made the podium in Boston, Chicago and Tokyo.
Rounding out the international men’s field are the second-fastest Canadian marathoner of all time Dylan Wykes, 2011 World Championships fourth-place finisher Abderrahime Bouramdane, two-time Hannover winner Lusapho April of South Africa, and Ukrainian Olympian Vitaliy Shafar, who finished fourth last year in Boston.
Other top US athltes, announced earlier this month, include Dathan Ritzenhein, Jeffrey Eggleston, Nicholas Arciniaga and Fernando Cabada.
On the women’s side, John Hancock has assembled the fastest field in the history of the event with ten women holding personal best times better than 2:23, six of whom have run faster than 2:22.
Leading the way in terms of experience are past Boston Marathon champions Sharon Cherop and Caroline Kilel. Cherop, the 2011 world bronze medallist, won the Boston Marathon in 2012 and placed third in 2011 and 2013. Commonwealth silver medallist Kilel won in Boston in 2011.
Chasing the Kenyan duo is a team of Ethiopia’s most accomplished runners: Mare Dibaba, Aberu Kebede, Buzunesh Deba, Mamitu Daska and Ejegayehu Dibaba.
Mare Dibaba recently retained her Xiamen Marathon title, equalling her PB of 2:19:52, which makes her the fastest in the field. Deba is champion of eight US marathons and was runner-up in Boston last year, clocking a PB of 2:19:59.
Kebede has twice won the Berlin Marathon, setting her PB of 2:20:30 there in 2012. Former Dubai and Frankfurt winner Daska won over 10km and the half marathon in Boston last year. Ejegayehu Dibaba is an Olympic silver medallist and two-time world bronze medallist in the 10,000m. In her 2011 marathon debut in Chicago, she finished second.
Also in the field are Los Angeles winner and Belarusian record-holder Aleksandra Duliba, Prague and Los Angeles champion Caroline Rotich, two-time Olympian Marisa Barros of Portugal, Linz and Zurich champion Lisa Stublic Nemec, African 10,000m champion Joyce Chepkirui and, making her marathon debut, half marathon specialist Cynthia Limo.
USA’s Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila Linden and Amy Hastings, all announced last week, will also be focused on making the podium.
Organisers for the IAAF
Elite field (with PBs)
Patrick Makau (KEN) 2:03:38
Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:04:45
Yemane Tsegay (ETH) 2:04:48
Tadese Tola (ETH) 2:04:49
Gebregziabher Gebremariam (ETH) 2:04:53
Abel Kirui (KEN) 2:05:04
Wilson Chebet (KEN) 2:05:27
Frankline Chepkwony (KEN) 2:06:11
Wesley Korir (KEN) 2:06:13
Bernard Kipyego (KEN) 2:06:22
Abderrahime Bouramdane (MAR) 2:07:33
Dathan Ritzenhein (USA) 2:07:47
Lusapho April (RSA) 2:08:32
Meb Keflezighi (USA) 2:08:37
Vitaliy Shafar (UKR) 2:09:37
Zersenay Tadese (ERI) 2:10:41
Dylan Wykes (CAN) 2:10:47
Jeffrey Eggleston (USA) 2:10:52
Nicholas Arciniaga (USA) 2:11:30
Fernando Cabada (USA) 2:11:36
Mare Dibaba (ETH) 2:19:52
Buzunesh Deba (ETH) 2:19:59
Aberu Kebede (ETH) 2:20:30
Shalane Flanagan (USA) 2:21:14
Aleksandra Duliba (BLR) 2:21:29
Mamitu Daska (ETH) 2:21:59
Ejegayehu Dibaba (ETH) 2:22:09
Sharon Cherop (KEN) 2:22:28
Caroline Kilel (KEN) 2:22:34
Desiree Davila Linden (USA) 2:22:38
Caroline Rotich (KEN) 2:23:22
Marisa Barros (POR) 2:25:04
Lisa Stublic Nemec (CRO) 2:25:44
Amy Hastings (USA) 2:27:03
Joyce Chepkirui (KEN) 2:30:23
Cynthia Limo (KEN) debut