Teyba Erkesso breaks the tape in Boston 2010 (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Boston, USA

Boston Marathon announces elite field

The elite field for the 115th running of the Boston Marathon on 18 April 2011 has been announced.

The Boston Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Reigning champions Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot and Teyba Erkesso will defend their titles, but will be fiercely challenged by one of the fastest and deepest men’s and women’s fields ever assembled for the Boston Marathon. 

Cheruiyot ran a stunning 2:05:52 course record last year over the difficult Boston course.  In April he will face top contenders that include past and present marathon champions of New York City, Chicago, Seoul, Amsterdam, Houston, Xiamen, Torino, Eindhoven, Phoenix, Monaco, Gyeongju, Milan and Nairobi. 

Geoffrey Mutai leads the line-up as the second fastest man in the world last year with a 2:04:55 best. Joining him are 2:06 men including top American Ryan Hall, Gilbert Yegon, Tadese Tola, Evans Cheruiyot and 2010 Seoul course record holder Sylvester Teimet.

Challenging this group are the 2010 New York City champion Gebregziabher Gebremariam, the newly crowned Houston course record holder Bekana Daba and 2010 Boston runner-up Tekeste Kebede. 

International newcomers to the course include Philip Sanga, Feleke Cherkos, Deressa Edae, Stephen Kibiwot, Peter Kamais and 2011 Xiamen winner Robert Kipchumba.  Returning to Boston are Moses Kigen Kipkosgei, Shadrack Kiplagat and American talent Antonio Vega.  Irish Olympian Alistair Cragg and Kenyan Moses Mosop will make their marathon debuts. 

On the women’s side, the historic race in Boston has been decided over the past three years by three seconds or less.  Last year Teyba Erkesso maintained a three second lead to the finish as she held off a charging Tatyana Pushkareva.  This year’s race likely will prove just as competitive with 16 women in the field holding times of 2:26:20 or better. 
Past champions Salina Kosgei, Dire Tune and four-time winner Catherine Ndereba join Erkesso and Pushkareva.  The experienced trio will contest a highly competitive race that includes 2010 international marathon champions, top Americans and talented newcomers.

Chasing the Boston champions are 2010 international marathon winners including Sharon Cherop, who edged Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene to win Toronto by one second, and Caroline Kilel, who won Frankfurt after a duel with Dire Tune.  Carpi champion Hellen Mugo is on the team and she joins Amsterdam winner Alice Timbilili.

Challenging the group are top Americans Kara Goucher, who finished third in Boston in 2009, and Desiree Davila, the fastest American of 2010 with her fourth place finish in Chicago, and Olympian Blake Russell. International competitors include New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, former Russian national record holder Galina Bogomolova and young talent Merima Mohammed from Ethiopia.

Werknesh Kidane and Florence Kiplagat also bring significant credentials to the race.  Kidane is a multiple junior and senior World Cross Country champion (2 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze) and Kiplagat, who will make her marathon debut, is a World Half Marathon and World Cross Country champion.  Both women are married to men in the field: Kidane is married to Gebregziabher Gebremariam and Kiplagat is married to Moses Mosop.
Additional talent includes Silvia Skvortsova, Teyba Naser, Woynishet Girma and Yuliya Ruban.

“Competitive excellence has been the touchstone for the Boston Marathon for over a century, both among our full field of runners and the magnificent field of professional runners from around the world recruited by John Hancock,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director.  “John Hancock Financial's sponsorship of our premier event over the last 26 years -- including support of professional marathoners – has resulted in pre-race excitement, competitive races, and historic performances."

John Hancock’s 2011 Elite Boston Marathon Field
Men’s Open Field

name/country/personal best
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot,  Kenya 2:05:52 (Boston, 2010) CR
Geoffrey Mutai, Kenya 2:04:55 (Rotterdam, 2010)
Ryan Hall, USA 2:06:17 (London, 2008)
Gilbert Yegon, Kenya 2:06:18 (Amsterdam, 2009)
Evans Cheruiyot, Kenya 2:06:25 (Chicago, 2008)
Tadese Tola, Ethiopia 2:06:31 (Frankfurt, 2010)
Sylvester Teimet, Kenya 2:06:49 (Seoul, 2010) CR
Bekana Daba, Ethiopia 2:07:04 (Houston, 2011) CR
Philip Kimutai Sanga, Kenya 2:07:11 (Frankfurt, 2010)
Shadrack Kiplagat, Kenya 2:07:53 (Amsterdam, 2007)
Tekeste Kebede, Ethiopia 2:07:23 (Boston, 2010)
Feleke Abreham Cherko,s Ethiopia 2:07:29 (Amsterdam, 2010)
Deressa Chimsa Edae,  Ethiopia 2:07:54 (Dubai, 2009)
Stephen Kibiwot, Kenya 2:07:54 (Praha, 2009)
Robert Kipchumba, Kenya 2:08:07 (Xiamen, 2011) CR
Gebregziabher Gebremariam, Ethiopia 2:08:14 (New York City 2010)
Moses Kigen Kipkosgei, Kenya 2:10:12 (Nairobi, 2009) CR
Antonio Vega, USA 2:13:47 (Boston, 2010)
Peter Kamais, Kenya 2:14:58 (New York City, 2010)
Alistair Cragg, Ireland Debut
Moses Mosop, Kenya Debut

Women’s Open Field 

Name/country/personal best
Teyba Erkesso, Ethiopia 2:23:53 (Houston, 2010) CR
Galina Bogomolova, Russia 2:20:47 (Chicago, 2006)
Sharon Cherop, Kenya 2:22:43 (Toronto, 2010) CR
Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene, Ethiopia 2:22:44 (Toronto, 2010)
Merima Mohammed, Ethiopia 2:23:06 (Toronto, 2010)
Salina Kosgei, Kenya 2:23:22 (Berlin, 2006)
Caroline Kilel, Kenya 2:23:25 (Frankfurt, 2010)
Dire Tune, Ethiopia 2:23:44 (Frankfurt, 2010)
Alice Timbilili, Kenya 2:25:03 (Amsterdam, 2010)
Kim Smith, New Zealand 2:25:21 (London, 2010)
Kara Goucher, USA 2:25:52 (New York, 2008)
Tatyana Pushkareva, Russia 2:26:14 (Boston, 2010)
Desiree Davila, USA 2:26:20 (Chicago, 2010)
Teyba Naser, Ethiopia 2:26:20 (Los Angeles, 2010)
Silvia Skvortsova, Russia 2:26:24 (Berlin, 2009)
Werknesh Kidane, Ethiopia 2:27:15 (Dubai, 2011)
Hellen Mugo, Kenya 2:27:16 (Carpi, 2010)
Yuliya Ruban, Ukraine 2:27:44 (Frankfurt, 2010)
Woynishet Girma,  Ethiopia 2:27:51 (Amsterdam, 2010)
Blake Russell, USA 2:29:10 (Chicago, 2005)
Florence Kiplagat, Kenya Debut
NR = National Record  
CR = Course Record