World record holder and double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge will debut at the Boston Marathon (World Athletics Elite Platinum Label) on Monday, 17 April.
Kipchoge has already won four of the six World Marathon Majors series in his career and set course records in London, Chicago, Tokyo and Berlin, but he has not competed in New York and Boston yet. He aims to win these two US Major Marathons to complete the set of wins.
The Kenyan marathon legend is aiming to clinch his 11th Abbott World Marathon Majors race after winning four times in London in 2015 (2:04:42), in 2016 (2:03:05), in 2018 (2:04:17) and in 2019 (2:02:37), four times in Berlin in 2015 (2:04:00), in 2017 (2:03:32), in 2018 (2:01:39) and in 2022 (2:01:09), in Chicago in 2014 (2:04:11) and in Tokyo in 2022 (2:02:40) eight months after his second Olympic triumph in Sapporo 2021. He broke the world record in his most recent marathon race in Berlin with 2:01:09 in 2022. Still, his major goal for Boston is to win the race rather than pursue a record time on the legendary course known for its rolling hills with challenging climbs and downhill sections and the famous Heartbreak hill.
The Boston Marathon does not enlist the service of pacemakers. Kipchoge ran his slowest races in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro in 2:08:44 and in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games in 2:08:38.
Kipchoge will be seeking to win his fifth straight World Marathon Majors and his 15th of 17 starts over the 42.195 km distance. He aims to write more marathon history as the only man ever able to win the Boston Marathon as a double Olympic champion and a current world marathon record holder.
He will be back on the marathon course for the first time since breaking the world record in Berlin last September. He won just one marathon race on US soil in Chicago in 2014. The Boston course record has been held by Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai with 2:03:02 since 2011. Boston is a point-to-point course and is not eligible as a world record marathon course.
“I am happy to compete in Boston for the first time in my career. It’s a new chapter in my Abbott World Marathon Majors journey”, said Kipchoge.
Kipchoge will take on defending champion Evans Chebet, 2021 Boston Marathon winner Benson Kipruto, and two-time winner Lelisa Desisa. The line-up also features seven men entered with a sub-2:05 PB.
Chebet won the 2022 edition of the Boston Marathon in 2:06:51 and completed the double win in the major US races with his triumph in New York in 2:08:41 last November. Chebet became the sixth runner in history to win the Boston and New York Marathon races in the same year. Chebet ran his PB of 2:03:00 in Valencia in 2020. In last year’s edition of the Boston Marathon, Chebet clocked 13:55 from 35 km to 40 km to break away from the rest of the field.
“To be champion in Boston is something very special, and for me, it has more meaning because it took me quite some time during my career to be competitive enough to win the oldest marathon in the world finally. I can’t wait to be back and to enjoy the great atmosphere of such a unique and historical race”, said Chebet.
Chebet’s training partner Benson Kipruto also returns to Boston to repeat his triumph in 2021, when he crossed the finish line in 2:07:27. Kipruto went on to win his second World Marathon Major on US soil in Chicago in 2:04:24 last October. Kipruto and Chebet train together under the guidance of Italian coach Claudio Berardelli.
Desisa placed in the top two four times in his previous appearances at the Boston Marathon. The Ethiopian runner won two editions in 2013 and 2015 and finished second in 2016 and 2019. This year’s edition marks the 10th anniversary of his first win on the day of the tragic bombing. He then donated the winner’s medal back to the city to honor the victims of the tragedy of 15 April 2013.
The fastest man in the field behind Kipchoge and Chebet is Tanzanian national record holder Gabriel Geay, who finished second in Valencia in 2:03:00 last December and clocked 2:04:55 in Milan in 2021. Geay also finished fourth in the Boston Marathon in 2:07:53 and seventh at the World Championships in Eugene in 2:07:31.
“I am excited to return to the Boston Marathon this year. I fulfilled a dream by racing in Boston last year. My goal is to win the race, and 2023 will be my year”, said Gabriel Geay.
The line-up also features past World Marathon Majors winners Albert Korir, winner in New York in 2021, Ghirmay Ghebrselassie from Eritrea, world champion in Beijing 2015 and New York winner in 2016, and Shura Kitata from Ethiopia, who won the 2020 London Marathon in 2:05:41, finished second in London in 2018 in 2:04:49, and in New York in 2018 in 2:06:01 and in 2022 in 2:08:54.
Daniel Do Nascimento, who set the Brazilian record of 2:04:51 in Seoul and finished eighth at the World Championships in Eugene in 2022, will debut in Boston.
Another sub-2:05 runner in the field is Herpasa Negasa from Ethiopia, who clocked 2:03:40 in Dubai in 2019 and finished second in Seoul in 2:04:49 in 2022.
US runner Scott Fauble will make his fourth appearance at the Boston Marathon one year after finishing seventh. The other US runners in the field are Conner Mantz, who clocked 2:08:16 on his marathon debut in Chicago last October, and CJ Albertson and Ben True, who finished seventh in New York over the marathon distance. Fauble and Mantz have never raced head-to-head before now. They were the only US sub-2:09 performer last year.
“I love the Boston Marathon. It’s one of the greatest sporting events in the world. It has a way of bringing the best out of people”, said Scott Fauble.
Kenya has won four of the last five men’s titles in Boston (Geoffrey Kirui in 2017, Lawrence Cherono in 2019, Benson Kipruto in 2021 and Evans Chebet in 2022).
The oldest marathon race in the world boasts a prestigious roll of honors. The list of past winners in the men’s race includes Ron Hill, Bill Rodgers, Robert De Castella, Gelindo Bordin, Ibrahim Hussein, Cosmas Ndeti, Robert Cheruyiot, Geoffrey Mutai, Lelisa Desisa, Meb Keflezighi and Lemi Berhanu.
Boston Marathon Men's Elite Field:
|Eliud Kipchoge||Kenya||2:01:09 WR|
|Gabriel Geay||Tanzania||2:03:00 NR|
|Daniel Do Nascimento||Brazil||2:04:51 NR|
|Isaac Mpofu||Zimbabwe||2:06:48 NR|
|Melikhaya Frans||South Africa||2:09:24|
|Mustafa Mohamed*||Sweden||2:10:03 NR|