The organisers of the 126th edition of the Boston Marathon, which is the World Athletics Platinum Elite Label Road Race, have released their fastest ever elite list for men that will be held on Monday April 18, 2022 in Boston.
Three time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia leads the elite list of 12 men who have gone under the 2:06 mark. Bekele is the second fastest marathon runner in history with a personal best of 2:01.41.
“I recognise the tradition of the Boston Marathon and look forward to racing in April,” said Bekele. “For many years Ethiopia has had a strong tradition in Boston, and I am excited to join that legacy. I have long looked forward to racing the Boston Marathon.”
Seven of the past eight winners will also return to Boston, including 2021 champion Benson Kipruto of Kenya. Lawrence Cherono (2019), Yuki Kawauchi (2018), Geoffrey Kirui (2017), Lemi Berhanu (2016), and two times winner Lelisa Desisa (2015 and 2013) are the other six former winners.
The 2021 fastest man in marathon, Titus Ekiru, who holds a personal best of 2:02.57 that he got in Milan, will be battling for the top honors too. “I am happy to announce that I’ll be lining the street of Boston Marathon for my first time next April in the Boston Marathon]. Can’t wait for it!”
The 2020 world leader Evans Chebet, New York City Marathon winner Albert Korir, and three-time world half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.
Kenya’s Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich head the fields for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday (10), with Sara Hall and Galen Rupp leading US hopes at the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race.
After action in Berlin and London in recent weeks, Chicago is the next race in a busy period of major marathons and the Boston event follows just one day later. The weather in Chicago looks set to be warm, with temperatures of around 21°C expected for the start of the elite races at 7:30am local time.
The last edition of the Chicago Marathon in 2019 saw a world record fall as Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei clocked 2:14:04 to take 81 seconds from Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 mark. This time her compatriots Chepngetich, who won the 2019 world title, and Vivian Kiplagat are among the athletes in the spotlight.
Chepngetich sits fourth on the women’s marathon all-time list thanks to the 2:17:08 PB she set when winning in Dubai in 2019 and she ran a world half marathon record in Istanbul in April with 1:04:02. The 27-year-old was unable to finish the Olympic marathon in Tokyo but is looking forward to her US debut race in Chicago.
“I have never raced in the States and making my debut in such a great race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is more than a dream to me,” she said. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible.”
Hall will be among those looking to challenge her. The US athlete beat Chepngetich at last year’s London Marathon, as the pair finished second and third respectively behind Kosgei, and Hall went on to run a PB of 2:20:32 in Arizona a couple of months later. Now she has her eye on Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 US record, should the conditions allow.
“When I thought about where I wanted to chase the American record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the US, and Chicago is such an epic race,” she said.
The other sub-2:25 women in the field are Kiplagat, the USA’s Keira D’Amato and Ethiopia’s Meseret Belete. Kiplagat, who ran her marathon PB of 2:21:11 in 2019, clocked 2:39:18 in Eldoret in June but showed her current form with a personal best performance in the half marathon of 1:06:07 in Copenhagen last month. Like Hall, D’Amato also ran a PB in Arizona in December, clocking 2:22:56, while 22-year-old Belete – who was sixth at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships and ran a world U20 best of 1:07:51 later that year – has a marathon PB of 2:24:54 set when finishing fourth in Houston last year.
Among those joining them on the start line will be the USA’s Emma Bates, Diane Nukuri and Lindsay Flanagan.
Kipyego ready to turn up the heat
Kipyego ready to turn up the heat With his PB of 2:03:55 set at the Milan Marathon in May, Kipyego goes into the Chicago race as the second fastest man in 2021. The 25-year-old made his marathon debut in Buenos Aires in 2019, clocking 2:05:18, and later that year he improved to 2:04:40 to win in Abu Dhabi, despite having started the race as a pacemaker. He also seems unfazed by the warmer than expected temperatures, simply replying: ‘No problem’ at the pre-race press conference when asked about the weather.
Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, meanwhile, explained how he is not as comfortable in the heat but he will go into the race looking to build on the 2:04:29 PB he set when finishing fourth in that same Milan Marathon in May. He also has experience of the Chicago event, having finished sixth in 2019 in 2:08:35.
Rupp leads US hopes as the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist returns to action after his eighth place in the Tokyo Olympic marathon nine weeks ago and third-place finish in the Great North Run half marathon in 1:01:52 last month. Eighth fastest among the entries, his PB of 2:06:07 was set in Prague in 2018 but he will be looking to regain the crown he claimed in 2017.
Kenya’s Dickson Chumba is also a former Chicago winner, having triumphed in 2015, and he set his PB of 2:04:32 in the same city the year before that. The fourth sub-2:05 runner in the field is Kengo Suzuki, who broke the Japanese record with his 2:04:56 to win the Lake Biwa Marathon in February.
Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui is also one to watch. Having helped to pace world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge in the past, the 58:42 half marathon runner made his own marathon debut last year and improved to 2:05:47 to win in Siena in April. “I was so happy to run 2:06 for my first marathon,” he told NN Running Team. “What it proved to me was, yes, I was in good shape but that I had the mentality to perform over the marathon distance.” Looking ahead to Chicago, he added: “I aim to run 2:03/2:04 but my first priority is to win the race.”
Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso and Shifera Tamru have respective bests of 2:04:53 and 2:05:18, while Ian Butler, who is coached by former world record-holder Steve Jones and balances his running with his job as a teacher, is the second-fastest US runner in the field with a PB of 2:09:45 set in Arizona last year.
The race organizers 43rd edition of the Chicago Marathon has announced significant changes to their elite field.
Fourteen (14) elite athletes have withdrawn while seventeen elite athletes (17) have been added.
Among those who have withdrawn in the men category include Getaneh Molla from Ethiopia who holds a personal best of 2:03.34, Bahrain’s Hassan El Abbassi of 2:04.43, Kenya’s Joel Kimurer who has a personal best of 2:05.19, Laban Korir of 2:05.54, and Masato Kikuchi of 2:07.20 from Japan.
The top women elites who have withdrawn are Mexico’s Vianney De La Rosa who has a personal best of 2:20.04 and Britain’s Rosie Edwards of pb 2:31.56.
The oraganisers have now included Kenya’s Dickson Chumba who has appeared on the Chicago podium three times including a victory in 2015 and he holds a personal best of 2:04.32.
The fastest man that has been included in this field is Reuben Kipyego from Kenya who comes to this race with 2:03.55 that he got early this year at the Generali Milano Marathon, where he finished in second place.
Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui—also known as “captain of the pacemakers” and “kingmaker” for his work leading a team of 41 pacemakers to help teammate Eliud Kipchoge run a blistering 1:59.40 marathon in Vienna in –2019—enters this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a fresh personal best, 2:05:47.
Japan’s nation’s national marathon record holder, Kengo Suzuki of who holds a personal best of 2:04.56 and Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso of pb 2:04.53 who finished sixth at the Valencia Marathon in 2020 have also been included.
The women elite side, Vivian Kiplagat comes with a personal best of 2:21.11 with Ethiopia’s Meseret Belete who holds a pb of 2:24.54 and Americans Carrie Dimoff and Maegan Krifchin both with personal best of 2:31.12 and 2:33.14respectively have joined the race.
The top runners will receive USD 55,000, down from USD 100,000 in 2019 when the race was last contested. The winning wheelchair athletes will receive $20,000, and the top American runners will get $15,000 (equal to 2019). Although the event has a history of fast times, organizers are not offering any publicly-reported time bonuses this year.
Kenyans Brigid Kosgei and Lawrence Cherono, who are the reigning champion will not be racing this year. Kosgei who set a world record of 2:14.04 when she won the 2019 edition, ran the Virgin Money London Marathon last Sunday and finished fourth. She also won the silver medal at the Olympic Marathon in Sapporo last August. Cherono, finished fourth at the Olympic Marathon and has not been announced for a fall marathon.
Kenya’s Felix Kipkoech ran a world lead time at the 40th edition of the Generali Berlin Half Marathon that was held early Sunday morning in Berlin, Germany.
Kipkoech clocked the fastest time in 2021 when he won the Siena Half Marathon in Italy with a time of 59:35 in February. This mark fell in Berlin as he beat the race favorites Philemon Kiplimo, who came carrying personal best of 58:11 that he got in Valencia.
Kipkoech was targeting to lower the race course record of 58:42 that was set in 2019 by Eric Kiptanui but finished 16 seconds less forcing him to cross the line in new personal best and world lead of 58:57.
Kipkoech led a Kenyan 1-2-3 podium finish as Josphat Tanui and Philemon Kiplimo, took silver and bronze in 59:40 and 59:54, respectively.
Organisers have announced the elite fields for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, whose 14th edition is set for 21 October.
Leading the list is this year’s fastest man over the distance, Eric Kiptanui. The Kenyan has already notched up two impressive half marathon victories in 2018, winning the high-quality Lisbon and Berlin races earlier in the year, coming home in the German capital in a world-leading 58:42 to move up to number four on the world all-time list.
Kiptanui will be accompanied on his first trip to India by his training partner Daniel Kipchumba, who paced Kiptanui to 15 kilometres in Berlin. A few weeks later, Kipchumba stood on top of the podium himself after a win at the Verbania half marathon in Italy in 59:06.
Two-time TCS World 10K winner Alex Korio – whose best of 58:51 was set in the 2017 Copenhagen Half Marathon – has been a regular participant in Procam International events in recent years and has run in Delhi twice in the past, last in 2015, but has never faced either of his two compatriots in battle so the tactics between the three Kenyans will be fascinating to watch.
Representing Ethiopia will be two men who are better known as marathon runners but who can still boast of outstanding half marathon credentials.
Leul Gebresilase was second in the Dubai Marathon at the start of the year in 2:04:02 while Feyisa Lilesa won a memorable silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, their half marathon bests are 59:18 and 59:22 respectively.
Adding to the considerable global interest in the race, USA’s Leonard Korir and New Zealand’s Zane Robertson are also in the men’s elite field. Korir just missed the North and Central American record of 59:43 when he ran his personal best of 59:52 at this race last year while Robertson holds the Oceania area record with 59:47.
All the runners will have in mind the very good course records in Delhi.
The men’s mark is 59:06 and was set by Ethiopia’s Guye Adola in 2014 while the women’s course record has been standing since 2009 and belongs to Kenya’s Mary Keitany at 1:06:54.
The two fastest women in the ADHM elite field, Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui and Ethiopia’s 2016 ADHM winner Worknesh Degefa, will go head-to-head again after a memorable duel in the Prague Half Marathon back in April.
Kipkirui – who set a personal best of 1:05:07 in Ras Al Khaimah in January – prevailed by just one second on that occasion to take second place in the Czech capital and it’s certain that Degefa will have that in mind ahead of her fourth ADHM appearance.
Two other highly-rated Ethiopian women will also be on the start line in Delhi: Yeshaneh Ababel and Senbere Teferi.
Ababel was second at the ADHM 2017 and has since been victorious at the Istanbul and Yangzhou half marathons while Teferi, who will be making her half marathon debut, has won world championship medals on the track and at cross country in the past and will arrive in Delhi fresh from setting a 3000m personal best when representing Africa at the recent IAAF Continental Cup.
All the leading runners will also have in their sights first prize cheques of US$27,000 with a total prize money purse (combined men and women) of US$280,000.
Elite fields for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2018 (with personal bests):
Eric Kiptanui (KEN) 58:42
Alex Korio (KEN) 58:51
Daniel Kipchumba (KEN) 59:06
Leul Gebresilase (ETH) 59:18
Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) 59:22
Zane Robertson (NZL) 59:47
Moses Kurong (UGA) 59:50
Andamlak Belihu (ETH) 59:51
Leonard Korir (USA) 59:52
Aron Kifle (ERI) 1:00:31
Getaneh Molla (ETH) 1:00:34
Betesfa Getahun (ETH) 1:00:54