Top names for Boston
BOSTON (USA): The elite fields for the 120th Boston Marathon, which will take place on April 18, have been announced. The winners from 2015, Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa and Kenya's Caroline Rotich, will return to defend their titles. Former men's champions Geoffrey Mutai (2011) and Wesley Korir (2012), both of Kenya, will also return to the race. The 2016 race will offer a rematch between the top three from 2015, as Yemane Adhane Tsegay of Ethiopia and Wilson Chebet of Kenya join Desisa in the line-up. 2014 Dubai Marathon champion Tsegaye Mekonnen has also been named in the field; he is also set to compete in Dubai in January. The 2015 Dubai Marathon champion, Hayle Lemi of Ethiopia, will also race in Boston. Another marathon winner in 2015 in the line-up is Stephen Chebogut of Kenya, the Eindhoven Marathon champion. Dutch Abdi Nageeye leads the European challenge. In the women's race, a group of very strong Ethiopians will challenge Rotich: Olympic Marathon champion Tiki Gelana, 2014 Boston runner-up Buzunesh Deba, 2014 Berlin and Tokyo marathon champion Tirfe Tsegaye and top half marathoner Mamitu Daska. Kenya will also have other strong contenders, among them are the top two from the 2015 Amsterdam Marathon, Joyce Chepkirui and Filomena Cheyech. Another 2015 marathon champion in the field is Warsaw champion Fatuma Sado of Ethiopia. Ethiopia's Tadelech Bekele, is the fastest in the field, based on performances from last year; she ran 2:22:51 in Dubai. Neely Spence Gracey will be one of the favourite US athletes; she will make her debut here.
Editor's note: Last year's Boston was one of my favorite races in the 30 or so I have seen up close. For me, watching Lelisa Desisa win was one thing. Sitting next to him on a train at the Frankfurt airport as we changed planes was what made it special. Being able to say congrats to him was what made it a memorable event.