This Boston Marathon may not have legends Eliud Kipchoge or Kenenisa Bekele, but it does have most of the other stars of recent years. It is arguably the deepest Boston men’s field in the race’s 126-year history.
Like with the women’s race, Boston got a boost with a return to its Patriots’ Day date for the first time since 2019. The world’s other jewel spring marathon, London, which usually has the best roster of the spring, is once again being held in the fall this year due to the pandemic.
So this field includes every man who won Boston, London and New York City in 2019 and 2021 (save Kipchoge), the last two world champions, plus recent winners of Chicago and Tokyo.
Picking a favorite is difficult, but the entries can be separated between recent breakthroughs and veteran champions.
Three men in the field earned their first major marathon victories last fall: Kenyans Benson Kipruto (Boston) and Albert Korir (New York City) and Ethiopian Sisay Lemma (London).
The names with more pizzazz: Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, a longtime training partner of Kipchoge, won New York City in 2017 and 2019, plus three world half marathon titles. But he was fourth in his lone marathon since the start of the pandemic, missing time after fracturing a tibia when hit by a motorcycle while training in June 2020.
Kenyan Lawrence Cherono is the only man other than Kipchoge to win two annual major marathons in one year since the start of 2015. He claimed Boston and Chicago in 2019 and hasn’t had a bad marathon in four years.
Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa is still just 32 years old, which is remarkable given his resume: Boston champion in 2013 and 2015, New York City champion in 2018 and world champion in 2019. He has a DNF and a 35th in two marathons over the last two and a half years, though.
Another Ethiopian, Birhanu Legese, is the third-fastest man in history and thus the fastest man in this field with a personal best of 2:02:48 from 2019. He won Tokyo in 2019 and 2020 and hasn’t finished worse than fifth in a marathon in the last three and a half years.
Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu (won Boston in 2016, second in 2021) and Evans Chebet (seventh-fastest man in history at 2:03:00) also deserves mention.
The fastest Americans in the field are Scott Fauble (2:09:09) and Colin Bennie (2:09:38), plus Olympians Jake Riley and Jared Ward.