Men's and women's preview for the Boston Marathon 2022, a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race, scheduled for Monday, April 18.
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Women’s race preview:
Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, 2021 London Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and Olympic bronze medallist Molly Seidel will headline a strong women’s line-up.
Jepchirchir set her PB of 2:17:18 in Valencia in December 2020. She will make her debut in Boston eight months after winning the Olympic gold medal in Sapporo in 2:27.20. The Kenyan runner went on to win the New York Marathon last November in 2:22:39 becoming the first athlete in history to win the Olympic gold medal and New York in the same year. In her career the 28-year-old Kenyan runner won two world half marathon gold medals in Cardiff 2016 and Gdynia 2020. Jepchirchir has won four straight marathon races dating back to 2019.
Peres Jepchirchir: “I am feeling fit. It will be a good race because there are lots of strong ladies in this field. My high expectation is to be a winner”.
Jepkosgei won the New York Marathon in 2019 in 2:22:38. She finished second to Jepchirchir in Valencia in 2020 in 2:18:40. Last October she won the London Marathon setting the seventh fastest time in history with 2:17:43.
Joyciline Jepkosgei: “My preparation has gone well. I have been focused on this race for the past three months. I know that the course is tough, but I am prepared for it and feeling strong. I will do my best”.
Molly Seidel, former Boston resident, became the third US woman to win a medal at the Olympic Games by finishing third in 2:27:46. Seidel went on to finish fourth at the New York Marathon in 2:24:42. The 27-year-old runner will make her debut at the Boston Marathon.
Molly Seidel: “When I lived and trained in Boston I just became totally enamored with the Boston Marathon. Every Patriot’s Day I would go to Heartbreak Hill to watch the runners, and whenever I trained on the course I dreamed of getting to run the race some day. There is something uniquely special about the Boston Marathon, and I absolutely can’t wait to line up in Hopkinton this April for the race”.
The women’s line-up also features two more sub-2:20 runners Degitu Azimeraw from Ethiopia and Edna Kiplagat from Kenya.
Azimeraw made her marathon debut with a win in Amsterdam in 2019 with 2:19:26. She then finished fifth in Valencia in 2020 in 2:19:56 and second in London 2021 in 2.17:58, 15 seconds behind Jepkosgei. She clocked the third fastest ever time by an Ethiopian runner.
Edna Kiplagat won in Boston in 2017 in 2:21:52 and finished second in this race in 2019 and 2021, claimed two world marathon gold medals in Daegu 2011 and Moscow 2013 and two more Marathon Majors in New York 2010 and London 2014. The 42-year-old Kenyan runner set her PB of 2:19:50 ten years ago, but she is still a major contender in major races and finished fourth at the World Championships in Doha 2019.
The women’s line-up also features former world half marathon record holder Ababel Yeshaneh, who clocked 2:20:51 in the Chicago Marathon in 2019 and holds a half marathon PB of 1:04:31 in Ras Al Khaimah in 2020, Mary Wacera from Kenya, third in last year’s edition of the Boston Marathon in 2:25:30 and two-time world half marathon medallist (silver in Copenaghen in 2014 and bronze in Cardiff 2016), Viola Cheptoo from Kenya, who finished second in New York in her marathon debut in 2:22:44 last November, Des Linden, winner in Boston in 2018, and Etagegn Woldu, who made her marathon debut in Valencia last year finishing second with 2:20:16.
The strong US contingent also includes Nell Rojas (PB 2:28:09), Kellyn Taylor (PB 2:29:56) and Stephanie Bruce (PB 2:27:47). The line-up is completed by Canadian record holder Malindi Elmore (2:24:50) and Charlotte Purdue from Great Britain, who finished 10th in London in 2:23:26 last October moving up to third on the British all-time list.
The Boston Marathon marks the 50th anniversary of the first official women’s field.
Five sub 2:05 runners and defending champion Benson Kipruto lead the men’s line-up
The men’s race of the 126th edition of the Boston Marathon features eight runners with sub-2:05 PBs, including five runners who have broken 2:04. The Boston race has assembled the reigning champions from Boston (Benson Kipruto), New York (Albert Korir) and London (Sisay Lemma).
The list of sub-2:05 runners includes Ethiopians Birhanu Legese (2:02:48), Sisay Lemma (2:03:36), Kinde Atanaw (2:03:51), former winners Lemi Berhanu (2:04:33) and Lelisa Desisa (2:04:55), Kenyans Evans Chebet (2:03:00), Lawrence Cherono (2:03:04) and Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay (2:04:55).
Legese set the third fastest time in history in 2:02:48 in Berlin in 2019 when he finished second to his compatriot Kenenisa Bekele. The 27-year-old Ethiopian runner also won the Tokyo Marathon with 2:04:48 in 2019 and in 2020 in 2:04:15. He has struggled with injury issues since his win in Tokyo in 2020 but he finished third in Valencia in 2020 in 2:03:16 and fifth in the London Marathon in 2021 in 2:06:10.
Lemma won the London Marathon in 2021 in 2:04:01 and finished third in three Marathon Majors in Berlin 2019 in 2:03:36, in Tokyo 2020 in 2:04:51 and in London 2020 in 2:05:45.
Desisa claimed the first place in two editions of the Boston Marathon in 2013 and 2015 and the New York in 2018 in an outstanding 2:05:59 and won two World Championships medals (silver in Moscow 2013 and gold in Doha 2019).
Berhanu reached the podium in Boston twice finishing first in 2016 and second in 2021 and crossed the finish-line in fourth place in New York in 2017.
Chebet set the fastest time in the world in 2020 with 2:03:00 in Valencia and finished fourth in London in 2021 in 2:05:43.
Atanaw set his PB of 2:03:51 in Valencia in 2019 and finished seventh in the Spanish race in 2:05:54 in 2021.
Geay finished sixth at the 2021 Milano Marathon improving his PB to 2:04:55.
Another strong contender is Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor, who won three world half marathon titles in 2014, 2016 and 2018, two world cross country gold medals in Guyang 2015 and Kampala 2017. Kamworor won the New York Marathon in 2019 showing that he is able to perform well on hilly courses. He holds PBs of 12:59.98 in the 5000 metres, 26:52.65 in the 10000m, 58:01 in the half marathon. He was struck by a motorcycle on a training run and fractured his tibia. He made his come-back to win the Olympic Trials in the 10000m, but he was forced to miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo due to a metatarsal stress fracture. He returned to full fitness to finish fourth in the Valencia Marathon in his lifetime best of 2:05:23 last December.
Geoffrey Kamworor: “It’s a dream for me to participate at the Boston Marathon because the hilly course is like where we train in Kaptagat. We call “Boston” a part of a 40 km-kilometre route, because it is hilly towards the end of the run”.
Three more past winners will return to Boston, including Benson Kipruto (2021), Lawrence Cherono (2019), Yuki Kawauchi (2018).
Kipruto won two marathon races in Prague (2:10:16) and in Boston (2:09:51) in 2021. The 31-year-old Kenyan runner set his PB of 2:05:13 in Toronto in 2019.
Benson Kipruto: “Being back in Boston as a champion is exciting, At the same time I feel the pressure and the responsibility to defend my title”.
Cherono scored the double winning Boston in 2:07:57 and Chicago in 2019 in 2:05:45. He finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Sapporo last year missing the bronze medal by two seconds and improved his lifetime best to 2:03:04 in Valencia in 2020. Cherono has finished first or second in 12 of his last 14 marathon races dating back to the start of 2016.
Kawauchi won the 2018 edition of the Boston Marathon in 2:15:58 on a rainy and cold day, becoming the first Japanese marathon runner to take the first place in Boston since Toshiko Seko in 1987.
The 2021 line-up is rounded out by 2021 New York Marathon champion Albert Korir (PB 2:08:03 in Ottawa 2019), and Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer, who finished third in Boston in 2021 in 2:10:38 and finished fourth in the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia.
Women's Elite Field
|Peres Jepchirchir||2:17:16 (Valencia, 2020)||Kenya||Olympic/NYC champ|
|Joyciline Jepkosgei||2:17:43 (London, 2021)||Kenya||London champ|
|Degitu Azimeraw||2:17:58 (London, 2021)||Ethiopia||15 secs behind Jepkosgei in London|
|Edna Kiplagat||2:19:50 (London, 2012)||Kenya||1 win, 2 2nds in Boston|
|Etagegn Woldu||2:20:16 (Valencia, 2021)||Ethiopia||2nd in Valencia last year in debut|
|Maurine Chepkemoi||2:20:18 (Amsterdam, 2021)||Kenya||2nd in Amsterdam last year|
|Ababel Yeshaneh||2:20:51 (Chicago, 2019)||Ethiopia||Former HM WR holder was 3rd at ’21 NYC|
|Desiree Linden||2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)||USA||’18 champ lining up for 9th Boston|
|Viola Cheptoo||2:22:44 (NYC, 2021)||Kenya||Almost won NYC in her debut last year|
|Charlotte Purdue||2:23:26 (London, 2021)||Great Britain||2:23 in London last year made her 4th-fastest Brit ever|
|Molly Seidel||2:24:42 (NYC, 2021)||USA||Olympic bronze medalist|
|Malindi Elmore||2:24:50 (Houston, 2020)||Canada||42-year-old was 9th in Olympic marathon|
|Mary Ngugi||2:25:20 (Boston, 2021)||Kenya||Two-time World Half medalist was 3rd last year|
|Monicah Ngige||2:25:32 (Boston, 2021)||Kenya||4th last year|
|Natasha Wodak||2:26:19 (Chandler, 2020)||Canada||40-year-old was 13th in Olympic marathon|
|Sara Vaughn||2:26:53 (Sacramento, 2020)||USA||Won CIM in her debut in December|
|Nell Rojas||2:27:12 (Boston, 2021)||USA||Top American last year in 6th|
|Stephanie Bruce||2:27:47 (Chicago, 2019)||USA||38-year-old is retiring at end of year|
|Dakotah Lindwurm||2:29:04 (Duluth, 2021)||USA||Finished 13th in ’21 after leading early|
Men's Elite Field
|Birhanu Legese||2:02:48 (Berlin, 2019)||Ethiopia||3rd-fastest marathon in history has won Tokyo 2x but battled injuries in ’21|
|Evans Chebet||2:03:00 (Valencia, 2020)||Kenya||’20 Valencia champ was 4th in London last year|
|Lawrence Cherono||2:03:04 (Valencia, 2020)||Kenya||Won Boston/Chicago in ’19; 4th Olympics, 1st Valencia in ’21|
|Sisay Lemma||2:03:36 (Berlin, 2019)||Ethiopia||London champ|
|Kinde Atanaw||2:03:51 (Valencia, 2019)||Ethiopia||7th in Valencia in December|
|Lemi Berhanu||2:04:33 (Dubai, 2016)||Ethiopia||’16 champ was 2nd last year|
|Lelisa Desisa||2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)||Ethiopia||Wins in ’13, ’15, 2nd in ’16|
|Gabriel Geay||2:04:55 (Milan, 2021)||Tanzania||8th in Valencia in December|
|Benson Kipruto||2:05:13 (Toronto, 2019)||Kenya||Surprise champ in ’21|
|Geoffrey Kamworor||2:05:23 (Valencia, 2021)||Kenya||2x NYC champ seems well-suited to Boston|
|Eric Kiptanui||2:05:47 (Apugnano, 2020)||Kenya||3rd in Chicago in ’21|
|Geoffrey Kirui||2:06:27 (Amsterdam, 2016)||Kenya||1st and 2nd in ’17 and ’18 but just 5th and ’13th in ’19 and ’21|
|Albert Korir||2:08:03 (Ottawa, 2019)||Kenya||2nd and 1st in last two NYC Marathons|
|Jemal Yimer||2:10:38 (Boston, 2021)||Ethiopia||3rd last year in first marathon finish|