The women’s field of the Boston Marathon (World Athletics Elite Platinum Label) on Monday, 17 April is one of the deepest races in marathon history.
The line-up features sixteen athletes with a PB under 2:21, five athletes with a PB under 2:20, seven runners with a sub-2:19 PB and five runners with a sub-2:18 PB.
Reigning world champion Gotytom Gebrselase will run at the Boston Marathon for the first time in her career, but she has already competed in other races in this city over shorter distances. The Ethiopian runner finished second at the Boston Half Marathon twice and placed in the top-five three times in the 5 km race.
Gebrselase finished in the top three in her four previous career marathon races. She won in Berlin in 2021 at 2:20:09, the world gold medal in Eugene in 2022 in 2:18:11, and placed third in both the marathon races in Tokyo at 2:18:18 and in New York at 2:23:39 last year.
“I am very happy to compete in the Boston Marathon in 2023, as it’s one of the most famous races in the world. It has long been a dream of mine to win this race. As a young track athlete, I raced many times in Boston in indoor races and then on the roads, so I am very excited and happy to bring my career full circle and return to Boston as the world champion”, said Gebrselase.
Joyciline Jepkosgei won two World Marathon races in New York in 2019 in 2:22:38 and London in 2021 in her lifetime best of 2:17:43. She finished second in London in 2022 in 2:18:07 and has finished first or second in four of her five marathon races. In her previous appearance in Boston, she crossed the finish line seventh in 2:24:43.
Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso ran the third fastest time in history with 2:14:58 to win the Valencia Marathon last December ahead of the world half marathon record holder Letesenbet Gidey. Beriso, who Gemedu Dedefo coaches, finished 13th in her previous appearance in Boston in 2016.
Kenya’s Sharon Lokedi, who won the New York Marathon on her debut over the 42.195 km distance, withdrew from the race and was replaced by two-time 5000 metres world champion and 2019 world cross country champion Hellen Obiri.
Obiri finished sixth on her debut over the marathon distance in New York in 2:25:49 and boasted a half marathon PB of 1:04:22 set in Ras Al Khaimah in 2022. Obiri won two prestigious half marathon races this year in Ras Al Khaimah in 1:05:05 and in New York in 1:07:21. She is now based in Boulder (Colorado) and is coached by former US runner Dathan Ritzenheim.
Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia and Mary Ngugi will compete in Boston for the second consecutive edition after finishing second and third last year.
Yeshaneh clocked 2:21:05 in Boston in 2022, finishing just four seconds behind 2021 Olympic gold medallist and New York winner Peres Jepchirchir and also placed third in New York in 2021 in 2:22:52. She also finished fifth at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gydnia in 2020 in 1:05:41 and set a PB of 2:20:51 in Chicago in 2019 and is a former world half marathon record holder.
“Running Boston last year was an incredible experience, and I will never forget the crowd cheering down Boylston Street as I ran towards the finish line in an epic sprint. I can’t wait to return to race and hope to win the title that I lost by a few meters”, said Ababel Yeshaneh.
Ngugi finished seventh in her PB of 2:20.22 in London in 2022, third in Boston in 2022 in 2:21:32, and second in the US race in 2021 in 2:25:20. She won two worlds half marathon championships medals, finishing second in Copenhagen in 2014 and third in Cardiff in 2016.
Lonah Salpeter from Israel won the world bronze medal in Eugene in 2022 and the annual Tokyo Marathon in 2020 in 2:17:45. Salpeter won two European medals in the 10000 meters (gold in Berlin 2018 and bronze in Munich 2022) and finished second in New York in 2:23:30 in 2022, second in Nagoya 2022 in 2:18:45. In her most recent test before Boston Salpeter finished second at the Roma Ostia Half Marathon in 1:06:56. Salpeter will make her first appearance in Boston.
“It has always been my dream to run these streets one day and to experience the incredible atmosphere. For now, I am focused on my preparation, and I look forward to seeing all the fans along the street in Boston”, said Salpeter.
Two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat finished fourth at last year’s edition of the Boston Marathon in 2:21:40, running 12 seconds faster than her winning time in Boston in 2017.
Kiplagat won four World Marathon Majors in New York in 2010 in 2:28:20, in London in 2014 in 2:20:21, and twice in Boston in 2017 on her debut in this race in 2:21:52 and 2021 in 2:25:09 at the age of 41. She also finished second in London in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and in Chicago in 2016. At the World Championships, the 43-year-old Kenyan runner won two consecutive gold medals in Daegu 2011 and Moscow 2013, the silver in London 2017 and finished fourth in Doha 2019 and fifth in Beijing 2015.
Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa also returns to Boston, where she won in 2016 in 2:29:19. She also won in Chicago in 2010 in 2:23:40 and 2012 in 2:22:03 and Paris in 2009 in 2:24:42 and in 2010 in 2:22:04. She finished eighth in Boston in 2021 in 2:28:04 and won her most recent marathon in Florence in 2:25:12 last November.
Hywot Gebrekidan placed first in Milan in 2:19:35 and second in Berlin in 2:21:23 in 2021, and fifth in Tokyo in her lifetime best of 2:19:10 in 2022. Gebrekidan won two half marathon races in Houston in 1:06:28, beating US runner Emily Sisson and in Guadalajara in 1:09:06.
The international line-up is completed by Kenyan runners Angela Tanui, winner in Amsterdam in her lifetime best of 2:17:57, Fancy Chemutai, fifth in Valencia in her PB of 2:18:11, and Viola Cheptoo Lagat, who finished second in New York in her PB of 2:22:44 in 2021 and sixth in last year’s edition of the Boston Marathon in 2:23:47. Cheptoo is the younger sister of 2007 world 1500m and 5000m world champion Bernard Lagat.
US marathon runner Desirée Linden will compete in Boston for the 10th time in her career. Linden won the 2018 edition of this race in 2:39:54 on a rainy and cold day.
The other US runners in the field are Sara Hall and Emma Bates, who finished fifth and seventh at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, and Aliphine Tuliamuk, who placed third in New York in 2019 and won the US Marathon title in 2020.
|Nazret Weldu Gebrehiwet