World record holder Kimetto leads loaded Boston field

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 12, 2017
  • World record holder Dennis Kimetto and Emmanuel Mutai have been included in the Boston marathon field.(Photo:SNA File)

Marathon world-record-holder Dennis Kimetto leads a field that includes six Boston Marathon champions for the men and women's field marathon.

Two-time IAAF World Championships gold medalist Edna Kiplagat is one of the most accomplished runners in the women's category. 

Combined, the team has won Olympic and IAAF World Championships medals as well as 89 global marathons, including 22 Abbott World Marathon Majors.

There will be 19 Olympians in the field. of nine men who have lifetime bests under 2:05:30. Kimetto is a Chicago and Tokyo champion and set the world marathon standard with his 2:02:57 Berlin win in 2014.

Kimetto also holds the world 25K record. Close on his heels will be seasoned runners and fellow Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai, Patrick Makau and Sammy Kitwara.

Mutai finished second to Kimetto in the 2014 Berlin race, is a London and Amsterdam champion and earned the silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships.

Makau is a former marathon world-record-holder, two-time Berlin and Fukuoka winner, and champion in Rotterdam and Frankfurt.

Kitwara has run six half marathons under one hour and is coming off a December win in Taipei.

2016 Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle of Ethiopia will work with countrymen Yemane Tsegay, Dino Sefir and Sisay Lemma as he seeks to defend his title.

Tsegay finished third in Boston last year, claimed the silver medal at the 2015 World Championships Marathon and has nine global marathon wins, including winning Fukuoka this past December.

Four additional Kenyans will be in the mix. Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion is joined by Wilson Chebet, a three-time Amsterdam winner and Rotterdam winner, who has finished second and third in Boston.

Rising talents Geoffrey Kirui, who won the bronze medal in the 10,000m at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships and Daniel Salel, the 2016 B.A.A. Half Marathon champion, also seek a podium finish in their Boston debuts.

Kiplagat leads classy field 

Kiplagat is a London, New York City and Los Angeles champion and won the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series in 2013-2014.

Last year she finished third in Tokyo and second in Chicago, running a 2:22:36 and 2:23:28 respectively. Countrywomen Gladys Cherono, the 2015 Berlin winner and 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships gold medalist, joins Kiplagat, as does 2015 Boston, Prague and Las Vegas champion Caroline Rotich.

Valentine Kipketer, Joyce Chepkirui, and Brigid Kosgei round out the Kenyan team. Kipketer is a past winner of Amsterdam and Mumbai; Chepkirui is an Amsterdam and two-time Honolulu winner; and Kosgei won Honolulu and Milan in 2016.

From Ethiopia, 2016 champ Atsede Baysa as well as 2014 Boston Marathon winner and course-record-holder Buzunesh Deba are back to race.

They will be joined by countrywoman and young talent Ruti Aga who won the silver medal in the 5,000m at the 2012 World Junior Championships and last year finished second in Vienna and third in Berlin.

"We are excited that the elite race for the 121st running of the Boston Marathon will showcase many of the most accomplished runners in the world," said Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event Marketing at John Hancock.

"During our 32 years of sponsorship, we have hosted more than 750 elite athletes from 47 countries, and each year they run a strategic and exciting race for the spectators in Boston and fans around the globe. We look forward to cheering on the elites and the thousands of runners who will join them as they race over the world's most historic marathon course."