Past champions Mutai, Korir highlight 2016 Boston Marathon elite field
Past champions Wesley Korir and Geoffrey Mutai will run the 120th edition of the Boston Marathon on April 18. Race organizers announced full elite fields for the race on Wednesday.
Defending champions Lelisa Desisa and Caroline Rotich were the first two elite athletes announced or the 2016 edition of the race. Desisa won last year's race in 2:09:17 for his second Boston Marathon crown in three years. Rotich won her first World Marathon Major with her 2:24:55 performance.
The men's field includes 10 men that have run under two hours and six minutes and eight women that have run under two hours and 23 minutes.
Mutai holds the course record with his 2:03:02 run in windy conditions but could not be ratified for a world record due to the net downhill nature of the Boston Marathon course. The time was the fastest ever over 26.2 miles until Dennis Kimetto's world record of 2:58:57 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. He is seeking his first marathon victory since winning the 2013 New York City Marathon. Last year's best result for Mutai was a :09:29 finish for fifth place at the Berlin Marathon.
Since Korir's victory in Boston, the Kenyan has been the subject of a film and was elected to Kenyan Parliament. Korir is famous for winning the hot and blistering 2012 Boston Marathon in 2:12:40. He has been winless at world marathon majors since but posted times consistently under 2:10. His best run of 2015 was a 2:10:39 for sixth place at the Chicago Marathon.
The veterans will be challenged by younger stars such as Sammy Kitwara of Kenya, who was the runner-up at the 2014 and 2015 Chicago Marathon. Ethiopia's Tsegaye Mekonnen debuted to a 2:04:32 at the 2014 Dubai Marathon and looks to rebound from a disappointing 2015, where he failed to finish the Amsterdam Marathon last October.
Yemane Adhane Tsegay (Ethiopia) and Wilson Chebet (Kenya), last year's second and third place finishers behind Desisa, will return to Boston.
Ian Burrell, who holds a personal bests of 2:13:26, is lone experienced American elite as others will run the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles on Feb. 13 and will not have ample time to recover for Boston. Former Oklahoma State cross-country and track All-American Girma Macheso will make his marathon debut.
Buzunesh Deba enters seeking her first Boston Marathon crown outright after finishing second to Rita Jeptoo in 2:19:59 at the 2014 Boston Marathon, Jeptoo would test positive for EPO in the fall and banned two years from the sport. Removing Jeptoo from the results would crown Deba the 2014 Boston Marathon champion. At last year's race, the Ethiopian put together another podium finish by running 2:25:09 for third place. She struggled with a knee injury and failed to finish the 2015 New York City Marathon in November.
Olympic gold medalist Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia will race Boston for the first time in her career. She holds the fastest personal best of the field with her 2:18:58 at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon.
American Neely Spence Gracey will make her marathon debut in Boston and bypass on the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. Spence Gracey holds a personal best of 1:09:58 in November's Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon to qualify for the trials. Sarah Crouch of Reebok's ZAP Fitness training group in Blowing Rock, N.C. also withdrew from the trials to race Boston.
No American woman has won the Boston Marathon since Laura Rainsberger in 1985.
Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia, who finished second to Rotich was among the elite runners announced for April's London Marathon.
The field of 38 athletes from 12 countries have combined for 89 global marathon wins that include five Boston Marathon titles, four New York City Marathon wins, two Chicago Marathon victories and one Olympic gold medal. Watch the video announcement of the elite field below:
Below is a full list of Boston Marathon elite runners.
|Geoffrey Mutai||Kenya||2:03:02 (Boston, 2011)|
|Sammy Kitwara||Kenya||2:04:28 (Chicago, 2014)|
|Tsegaye Mekonnen||Ethiopia||2:04:32 (Dubai, 2014)|
|Lelisa Desisa||Ethiopia||2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)|
|Yemane Adhane Tsegay||Ethiopia||2:04:48 (Rotterdam, 2012)|
|Getu Feleke||Ethiopia||2:04:50 (Rotterdam, 2012)|
|Wilson Chebet||Kenya||2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)|
|Hayle Lemi Berhanu||Ethiopia||2:05:28 (Dubai, 2015)|
|Stephen Chebogut||Kenya||2:05:52 (Eindhoven, 2015)|
|Deribe Robi||Ethiopia||2:05:58 (Eindhoven, 2015)|
|Wesley Korir||Kenya||2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012)|
|Michael Kipyego||Kenya||2:06:48 (Eindhoven, 2011)|
|Paul Lonyangata||Kenya||2:07:14 (Shanghai, 2015)|
|Jackson Kiprop||Uganda||2:09:32 (Mumbai, 2013)|
|Cuthbert Nyasango||Zimbabwe||2:09:52 (Prague, 2014)|
|Abdi Nageeye||Netherlands||2:10:24 (Amsterdam, 2015)|
|Abdelmajid El Hissouf||Morocco||2:10:35 (Seoul, 2015)|
|Solonei Da Silva||Brazil||2:11:32 (Padova, 2011)|
|Jordan Chipangama||Zambia||2:11:35 (Duluth, 2015)|
|Ian Burrell||USA||2:13:26 (Houston, 2014)|
|Girma Mecheso||USA||Debut; HM 1:02:16 (Houston, 2015|
|Tiki Gelana||Ethiopia||2:18:58 (Rotterdam, 2012)|
|Buzunesh Deba||Ethiopia||2:19:59 (Boston, 2014)|
|Tirfi Tsegaye||Ethiopia||2:20:18 (Berlin, 2014)|
|Mamitu Daska||Ethiopia||2:21:59 (Frankfurt, 2011)|
|Atsede Bayisa||Ethiopia||2:22:03 (Chicago, 2012)|
|Flomena Cheyech Daniel||Kenya||2:22:44 (Paris, 2014)|
|Tadelech Bekele||Ethiopia||2:22:51 (Dubai, 2015)|
|Jelena Prokopcuka||Latvia||2:22:56 (Osaka, 2005)|
|Valentine Kipketer||Kenya||2:23:02 (Amsterdam, 2013)|
|Caroline Rotich||Kenya||2:23:22 (Chicago, 2012)|
|Joyce Chepkirui||Kenya||2:24:11 (Amsterdam, 2015)|
|Fatuma Sado||Ethiopia||2:24:16 (Toronto, 2015)|
|Purity Cherotich Rionoripo||Kenya||2:25:09 (Lisbon, 2015)|
|Fate Tola||Ethiopia/Germany||2:25:14 (Berlin, 2012)|
|Lamei Sun||China||2:27:55 (Beijing, 2012)|
|Sarah Crouch||USA||2:32:44 (Chicago, 2014)|
|Neely Spence Gracey||USA||Debut; HM 69:59 (Philadelphia, 2015)|
- Christopher Chavez