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.
The Valencia marathon champion, Lawrence Cherono will be leading Kenyan women marathoners’ at the 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships that will be held from July 15-24 at the newly reconstructed Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
The 33 year-old is the eighth fastest marathon performer of all time with his 2:03.04 that he got at the 2020 Valencia Marathon.
Cherono who has one of the most powerful kick for a marathoner out-sprinted two-time Boston winner and World Championship Silver medalist Lelisa Desisa on the final block of Boylston Street in April 2019 when he cut the tape in 2:07.57 then went it again in October the same year at the Chicago Marathon out-kicking three other runners in the final 200 meters to win the race in 2:05.45.
Cherono will lead two time New York City marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, 2021 Milano marathon second placed Barnabas Kiptum while former world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui, who has been battling with injuries will be on bench.
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.
Abdi Nageeye captured hearts worldwide with his Olympic marathon silver at the Tokyo 2020 which also resonated with refugee communities.
The celebrations spread across the Netherlands, his adopted home after escaping war in Somalia, and in Kenya, the long-distance powerhouse where he honed his running career.
The Tokyo silver was the Netherlands’ second-ever medal in the Olympic marathon event and another example for Kenya’s High-Altitude Training Camp to boast about.
My target is to win. I really believe now that I can – Abdi Nageeye ahead of the 2021 New York City Marathon
On November 7, the Dutch runner will pound the streets of the New York City Marathon for the first time seeking to end his season with a victory to add to his cherished Olympic medal, after proving that he can run with ‘the best in the world’.
“My target is to win. I really believe now that I’m good in the race where you have a championship field, where you aim for the podium. I have good sprints and confidence,” he told Olympics.com from his home in Eldoret, Kenya.
But, even more important for Nageeye, is cementing his role as a huge inspiration for the younger generations in Somalia.
Olympic silver medalist Abdi Nageeye celebrates crossing the finish line at Tokyo 2020. Picture by 2021 Getty Images
Abdi Nageeye: From Somalia to the Netherlands
Aged six, Abdi Nageeye left Somalia with his brother for the Netherlands. After a four-year stint in Europe, the siblings left for Syria and returned home to Somalia. It wasn’t long before the teenager resettled back in the Netherlands with his adopted family via Ethiopia.
Like most boys, the young teen enjoyed playing football. One day, he laced up his running shoes for a 5km run, which he completed in a relatively fast 17 minutes.
That was in 2006. He turned out to be a good runner and was encouraged to exploit his new interest. A year later he debuted for the Netherlands, in a junior race, at the European Cross-Country Championships.
That marked the start of an athletics career that has seen Nageeye compete at European and World Championships, two Olympic Games and run marathons in major cities.
His national record and personal best of 2:06.17 at the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon remains ‘one of the best days’ of his life.
“That race gave me a lot of confidence. I ran that race with an injury from 33km, a lot of cramping on my hamstring. And it’s that confidence that I had until the Olympics,” he recalled of the race where he placed fourth.
Abdi Nageeye: The Olympic lesson in Rio and the medal in Tokyo
The run in Amsterdam fanned his ambition of making the podium at a major championship.
“I knew I was able to do something. I never showed it at the  European Championships, I didn’t prepare smart enough, but I knew I was able to run well and to win major marathons. But people want to receive the result at the finish line, and I was not able to do it.”
His Rio 2016 experience, where he finished 11th, counted for something when he lined up for the Olympic marathon in Sapporo.
When Eliud Kipchoge confirmed his greatness by clinching his second consecutive Olympic gold,only Nageeye came close.
Gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge of Team Kenya (L) hugs silver medalist Abdi Nageeye of Team Netherlands (R) after completing the men’s Olympic marathon in Japan. Picture by 2021 Getty Images
As they had done many times in training in Kaptagat, when he trained with Kipchoge, and his renowned coach Patrick Sang, the Dutch runner followed his lead when he broke away from the pack around the 30km mark.
“I knew I had this big chance with the whole world watching and I said I will show them what I can do.”- Abdi Nageeye on the silver at Tokyo 2020.
He created a near-perfect race, though it was a long and hard chase behind Kipchoge, his efforts were rewarded. Abdi took an Olympic silver medal with a season’s best time of 2:09:58.
“It was a long journey, the preparations… there were three Kenyans and three Ethiopians who are normally very strong…Then, there I was at the finish line, number two. It was a good feeling!”
The 32-year-old was cheered to the line in Sapporo by Kipchoge.
“When I was crossing the finish line, I was like, ‘We did it!’”
Abdi Nageeye: Inspirational legacy from Eliud Kipchoge
Nageeye may have shifted his training base to Iten, considered the cradle of Kenyan long-distance training, but the values he picked up from Eliud Kipchoge remain.
“He’s the greatest! Nobody can argue with that, he’s the greatest! From Eliud, I learned to take my time and focus on the progress. I learned the importance of discipline.”
Nageeye now trains remotely with Gary Lough, the coach of four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah.
The British coach also coaches Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi who edged past Kenyan Lawrence Cherono in the home stretch for bronze at the Olympics.
“The whole of Somalia was watching us at that moment, and they were talking about us. Most of them started running because of Mo Farah and many will start now because of me and Bashir.”
It has been 13 weeks since the epic Olympic race and Nageeye is on the entry list for the New York City Marathon, looking to capitalise on his newfound fame and form.
“I think I will be in good shape as it is more of a championship race, if I was trying to run 2:04 [below the course record], it would not be possible. I’ll be ready.”
The Dutch half-marathon record holder who lives in the running town of Eldoret is giving himself every shot.
“I’m good in the race where you have this championship field, where you are just aiming for the podium. I have good sprints, confidence, I’m training well until now, so my goal really is to win this race.”
Abdi Nageeye: Motivation to be the best
The second-fastest man over the marathon Kenenisa Bekele leads the men’s field in the 2021 New York City Marathon that includes a handful of previous podium finishers.
Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele Gebre, third in 2019, and the 2016 New York champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea are both considered top-three contenders.
“I am just hearing one or two names but I’m not focusing on that. I’m focusing on training and to be as fit as possible at the start line. It’s only when I get to the athletes’ hotel [in New York], and I see the faces and say ‘OK, you are there, and you too,’ and then I will make my plan,” said the marathoner who ran the Boston Marathon twice finishing 7th in 2018.
Just like at the Olympics, his motivation to win his debut New York Marathon runs deep.
“In Somalia, our last world champion was in 1987, that’s Abdi Bile and they just know him. That’s it. They even named a popular Toyota pick up after him, the Abdi Bile car,” he explained.
Bile, the 1996 Olympian, is Somalia’s most decorated athlete in history and still holds several national records.
“In Somalia, they don’t know much about running… The civil war put a pause on everything. So, it’s up to us to educate them, help them to understand and practice sport. Not only those in Somalia but the Somali community around the world.”
Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir and Lawrence Cherono were among top athletes that were honoured as heroes and heroines during the Mashujaa day Celebrations that was held today(20) at the Wang’uru International Stadium, Kirinyanga County.
The two time world half marathon champion, Jepchirchir also the world half marathon record holder won her first marathon title at the Olympics on her debut.
Cherono is the former Chicago and Boston marathon champion. He finished 4th at the Tokyo Games was joined by Paralympians Asiya Mohammed, Nancy Chelangat and Erick Kipsang who were also honoured.
List of the Sports persons who have been honoured
Peres Jepchirchir (Athletics)
Lawrence Cherono – (athletics)
Delilah Asiago – (Athletics -Dubai marathon)
Joseph Kiprotich – (veteran athlete)
Felix Kipkoech – (athlete- Geneva Berlin half marathon in 2021
Erick Kiptoo – Paralympian David Korir – guide to Erick Kiptoo Wesley Sang – Paralympian
In addition to a medal, some water and maybe a banana, volunteers will be handing out masks to the Boston Marathon finishers as they leave the socially distanced course and disperse into the city’s bustling Back Bay.
With an indoor mask mandate in Boston, race organizers have ordered 200,000 of them for their staff, volunteers and runners who didn’t slide them onto their arms or into their pockets when they got off the bus in Hopkinton and took off for Copley Square.
That’s just one of the changes when the first-ever fall Boston Marathon hits the streets Monday following the cancellation of the 2020 race and a six-month delay in ’21.
“It’s been more than 900 days since we last ran together here,” Boston Athletic Association President Tom Grilk said at a safety briefing on Thursday. “While the streets remain the same, pretty much everything else is different.”
The biggest changes are a field that shrank by more than a third — a total of 18,252 people are expected — and a new, rolling start: Instead of an athlete’s village in Hopkinton, where runners typically stretch and grab some last-minute calories and liquids, and corrals where they wait for the gun, they get off the bus and go.
Pierre d’Hemecourt, one of the race’s medical directors, said the result should be more space at the start and on the course.
“There will be less milling around in Hopkinton. Use the bathroom, get water, immediately start running,” he said. “The race itself will be much more protected because the athlete itself will have much more room to social distance.”
Originally scheduled for April 2020, the 125th edition of the Boston Marathon was first postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then canceled for the year – the first time since 1897 that no version of the race has been run. The 2021 race was postponed from April for six months to give the pandemic more time to abate.
Now, 30 months after Lawrence Cherono and Worknesh Degefa broke the tape on Boylston Street, the world’s most prestigious road race is back.
At the safety briefing – usually held indoors but moved outside this year to the plaza in front of the historic Trinity Church – d’Hemecourt said a COVID medical advisory panel began meeting in August 2020 when it wasn’t clear if the event would return in its usual April slot, move to the fall or be canceled for a second straight year.
Their plan started with making sure everyone participating in the race is either vaccinated or tests negative for the coronavirus. Runners will be required to stop by a tent to verify their vaccine status; unvaccinated runners can take a rapid test that would allow them to pick up their bib number.
Masks will be worn indoors, including on the buses to the starting line. D’Hemecourt said about 95% of the runners are vaccinated, and everyone working in the medical tent will be.
The finish line medical tent will also be stocked with extra equipment to avoid the need to transfer some cases to already overburdened local hospitals.
“We’re doing special things like extra crutches so somebody with a stress fracture doesn’t need to be sent to the emergency room,” d’Hemecourt said. “They can be evaluated … given crutches and sent on their way.”
The marathon’s first fall race is also expected to luck out on the weather, with forecasts of temperatures in the 50s and 60s and a chance of rain in the morning.
“We’re going to have a beautiful date, so that helps,” said Samantha Phillips, the director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. “Sometimes in April the weather can be a bit unpredictable.”
The unexpected unpredictability for public safety officials: the possibility of a Red Sox playoff game about a mile away. The ballclub would meet the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of the AL Division Series, unless one of the teams sweeps.
“It’s very much on our radar that we could have these co-occurring wonderful events,” Phillips said.
Although COVID-19 was the main topic at the news conference, authorities also promised they remain vigilant at the site of the 2013 terrorist bombing. Participants and spectators passing through checkpoints will be prohibited from bringing in not just weapons, flammable liquids and backpacks, but also large blankets and bulky costumes.
Drones are also banned.
“As in past years, the public should expect to see a significant law enforcement presence along the route,” Phillips said. “We want to encourage spectators to attend and cheer on the marathon participants. The weather looks like it will be beautiful. But remain aware of your surroundings.”
Two-time Boston Marathon champion, reigning World Athletics Marathon champion, Lelisa Desisa will be the star to watch at the 125th edition of the Boston Marathon that will be held on Monday (11) Eastern Massachusetts, Boston.
Desisa, who cut the tape in 2013 in a time of 2:10.22 then again in 2015 in 2:09.17, returns to Boston for the seventh time. In 2019, Desisa finished runner-up by a mere two seconds behind winner Lawrence Cherono.
“Boston has become my second home and I truly cherish my time when I am there,” said Desisa. “I return to compete still chasing my third victory in the Boston Marathon. Thank you, Boston; I look forward to putting on a good show for you on Marathon Monday!”
The 31 year-old has previously won the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon, 2013 Dubai Marathon, and earned silver at the 2013 World Athletics Championships Marathon. He comes to this race with a personal best of 2:04.45 that he got in 2013 at Dubai Marathon which is the third fastest time on paper. The Boston marathon has invited nine men who have sub 2:06.00 or faster.
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 Laban Korir will have a tough task as he faces the 2016 Rio Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Tamirat Tola at the 44th edition of the Amsterdam Marathon that will be held on Sunday October 17 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Korir debuted here in 2011 and took the second spot in 2:06.05 and has since raced here four times. The 35 years- old who is the leader of the NN Running Team training camp in Kaptagat is also a training partner with the world marathon record holder and first man to run under two hours, Eliud Kipchoge.
Korir carries a personal best of 2:05.54 that he got in 2016 in Amsterdam.
Kenyan will have to brace for a fierce fight as he faces Tola who comes to this race with a personal best of 2:04.06. Tola is a silver medallist from the 2017 world championship marathon that was held in London.
The 30 years-old won the 2017 marathon of Dubai in a time of 2.04.11. The following year Tola finished third at the Dubai Marathon when he clocked a personal best of 2:04.06. This is the same time as the race course record that was set by Lawrence Cherono from Kenya in 2018.
The race organizers have added another fastest athlete on paper; Leul Gebresilase from Ethiopia who holds a time of 2:04.02. The 29 year old got this time at the 2018 Dubai Marathon.
Another Kenyan looking for the top podium finish is Jonatan Korir who carries a personal best of 2:06.40 that he got in April this year at the marathon of Enschede.
The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is a Platinum Label race a\with the course record set in 2018 by Cherono and the organizers have put together the best fastest athlete to attack the course record.