By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission
(21-Jan) -- Organizers of the Boston Marathon announced today that their elite field for the 118th edition of the world's oldest marathon on , boasted eight men who had run sub-2:06 during their careers, led by Kenya's Moses Mosop (2:03:06) and Dennis Kimetto (2:03:45). The women's field, has 12 women with sub-2:24 credentials, topped by Ethiopia's Mare Dibaba (2:19:52) and Kenya's Rita Jeptoo (2:19:57), the defending champion.
"We are proud to present this outstanding group of international athletes who will set the pace for the field of 36,000 runners from around the globe in what will undoubtedly be an inspirational race for runners and fans everywhere," said Rob Friedman, head of sponsorships and event marketing at John Hancock Financial, the finance and insurance company which supports Boston's elite race.
The elite field consists of 46 athletes from 13 countries, eight of whom have won individual race titles in World Marathon Majors events. Athletes have been invited from Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United States. There are 11 Americans in the elite field.
Mosop (Nike), 28, the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion, ran a career best 2:03:06 at the storied 2011 Boston Marathon when athletes enjoyed a significant tailwind throughout the hilly course from Hopkinton to Boston's Back Bay. Since then, he was third at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon (2:05:03), and was "cancelled out" of the 2012 TCS New York City Marathon which wasn't held due to Super Storm Sandy. In his most recent marathon, Mosop placed 8th in Chicago last October in 2:11:19 after running an aggressive 61:52 for the first half.
Kimetto (adidas), 29, a former corn farmer who only began running seriously three years ago, was victorious at both Chicago (2:03:45) and Tokyo (2:06:50) last year. In 2012, he took second at the BMW Berlin Marathon in 2:04:16.
Defending champion Lelisa Desisa (Nike), 24, was the #1-ranked marathoner in the world last year according to Track & Field News. The diminutive Ethiopian won both Dubai (2:04:45) and Boston (2:10:22) and was second at the IAAF World Championships in Russia (2:10:12). His fantastic victory at Boston last year was quickly relegated to a footnote after the terrorist bombing at the finish line which killed three people and injured over 200.
Also in the field are former Boston and New York City Marathon champion Gebre Gebremariam (adidas) of Ethiopia (2:04:53 PB), former Los Angeles Marathon winner Markos Geneti (adidas) also of Ethiopia (2:04:54), and three-time Amsterdam Marathon champion Wilson Chebet (adidas) of Kenya (2:05:27).
"The essence of the Boston Marathon has been competition, and the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team brings
together a group of competitors who are driven to win," said Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, the organization which owns and manages the race. In prepared remarks he added: "In addition to running some of the fastest marathons ever, they represent a group of proven winners who have seized victory across the World Marathon Majors and other leading events, as well as capturing Olympic and World Championship medals. They offer every promise of enriching yet further the competitive lore of Boston."
In the women's race, Mare Dibaba (Nike), 24, just won the Xiamen Marathon in China in a course record 2:21:36. Her personal best of 2:19:52 was achieved in Dubai in 2012.
Rita Jeptoo (Nike), 32, won the Major Marathons in both Boston and Chicago last year in 2:26:25 and 2:19:57, respectively. She was also the 2006 Boston champion in 2:23:38.
Other contenders in the women's race include Kenyans Jemima Jelagat (Nike), who has run 2:20:48; Eunice Kirwa (2:21:41); Sharon Cherop (adidas), who has run 2:22:28; and Caroline Kilel (adidas) whose best time is 2:22:34. Ethiopian contenders include Meseret Hailu (Nike), with a 2:21:09 best; Buzunesh Deba (Nike), who has run 2:23:19; and Yeshi Esayias (adidas), who has a 2:24:06 to her credit.
The race's top Americans (who had been announced previously) are Dathan Ritzenhein (Nike) with a 2:07:47 career best, Meb Keflezighi (Skechers/NYAC) with a 2:09:08; Desiree (Davila) Linden (Brooks-Hansons) with a 2:22:38; and Shalane Flanagan (Nike) with a 2:25:38 to her credit.
The full elite field is listed, below, with personal best times:
Moses Mosop, 2:03:06 (Boston, 2011) Kenya
Dennis Kimetto, 2:03:45 (Chicago 2013) CR Kenya
Lelisa Desisa, 2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013) Ethiopia
Gebregziabher Gebremariam, 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011) Ethiopia
Markos Geneti, 2:04:54 (Dubai, 2012) Ethiopia
Wilson Chebet, 2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011) Kenya
Tilahun Regassa, 2:05:27 (Chicago, 2012) Ethiopia
Abdullah Dawit Shami, 2:05:42 (Dubai, 2012) Ethiopia
Eric Ndiema, 2:06:07 (Amsterdam, 2011) Kenya
Frankline Chepkwony, 2:06:11 (Eindhoven, 2012) Kenya
Micah Kogo, 2:06:56 (Chicago, 2013) Kenya
Adil Annani, 2:07:43 (London, 2012) Morocco
Paul Lonyangata, 2:07:44 (Xiamen, 2013) Kenya
Dathan Ritzenhein, 2:07:47 (Chicago, 2012) USA
Joel Kimurer, 2:07:48 (Gongju, 2013) Kenya
Lusapho April, 2:08:32 (Hannover, 2013) CR South Africa
Mebrahtom Keflezighi, 2:09:08 (Houston, 2012) USA
Brett Gotcher, 2:10:36 (Houston, 2010) USA
Jeffrey Hunt, 2:11:00 (Beppu, 2010) Australia
Jason Hartmann, 2:11:06 (Chicago 2010) USA
Nicholas Arciniaga, 2:11:30 (Houston, 2011) USA
Vitaliy Shafar, 2:11:52 (Frankfurt, 2013) Ukraine
Jeffrey Eggleston, 2:12:03 (Chicago, 2012) USA
Mare Dibaba, 2:19:52 (Dubai, 2012) Ethiopia
Rita Jeptoo, 2:19:57 (Chicago, 2013) Kenya
Jemima Jelagat Sumgong, 2:20:48 (Chicago, 2013) Kenya
Meseret Hailu Debele, 2:21:09 (Amsterdam, 2012) CR Ethiopia
Eunice Kirwa, 2:21:41 (Amsterdam, 2012) Kenya
Sharon Cherop, 2:22:28 (Berlin, 2013) Keya
Caroline Kilel, 2:22:34 (Frankfurt, 2013) Kenya
Desiree Davila Linden, 2:22:38 (Boston, 2011) USA
Flomena Chepchichir Chumba, 2:23:00 (Frankfurt, 2013) Kenya
Buzunesh Deba, 2:23:19 (New York, 2011) Ethiopia
Tatiana Petrova Arkhipova, 2:23:29 (London, 2012) Russia
Aleksandra Duliba, 2:23:44 (Chicago, 2013) NR Belarus
Yeshi Esayias, 2:24:06 (Frankfurt, 2013) Ethiopia
Philes Ongori, 2:24:20 (Rotterdam, 2011) Kenya
Belaynesh Oljira, 2:25:01 (Dubai, 2013) Ethiopia
Shalane Flanagan, 2:25:38 (Houston, 2012) USA
Yolanda Caballero, 2:26:17 (Boston, 2011) Colombia
Amy Hastings, 2:27:03 (Los Angeles, 2011) USA
Lanni Marchant, 2:28:00 (Toronto, 2013) Canada
Serena Burla, 2:28:01 (Amsterdam, 2013) USA
Noriko Higuchi, 2:28:49 (Tokyo, 2011) Japan
Adriana Nelson, 2:28:52 (London, 2008) USA
Adriana Aparecida da Silva, 2:29:17 (Tokyo, 2012) Brazil