Moses Mosop, 2:05:37 course record in Chicago (© Getty Images)
A host of top international marathon runners have been announced for the Boston Marathon – an IAAF Gold Label race – on April 15.
Defending champions Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop had been previously announced, alongside the full domestic field of US runners. But with the full field revealed, there will be four men with sub-2:05 PBs and three women with sub-2:22 PBs toeing the line in Boston in a few months’ time.
Last year Kenyan duo Korir and Cherop battled not only one of the strongest fields ever assembled, but also blistering heat. Korir prevailed over countryman Levy Matebo in the final mile and Cherop used past experience to surge on the final turn to win the women’s race by two seconds.
Alongside last year’s runner-up Matebo, challenging Korir for the coveted laurel wreath this year is a fast group of men including 2011 Boston runner-up and 2011 Chicago champion Moses Mosop of Kenya. Mosop’s 2:03:06 Boston performance was the second-fastest time ever run over the marathon distance.
Joining him in the chase is 2010 New York City winner Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who finished third in Boston in 2011 with a time of 2:04:53. Additional talent from Ethiopia includes 2011 Los Angeles Marathon winner and former World youth champion Markos Geneti, Paris and Mumbai runner-up Raji Assefa, and the 2012 Hamburg and 2011 Toronto winner Shami Abdullah Dawit.
Kenya’s Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, the 2010 Boston champion and former course record-holder, also returns alongside Eindhoven Marathon champion Dickson Chumba, also of Kenya. Joining them are compatriots and marathon debutants Lucas Rotich, who holds a 59:44 half-marathon best, and 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Micah Kogo, who boasts a 59:07 half-marathon PB and formerly held the 10km world record (27:01).
Americans Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi and Abdi Abdirahman lead the home challenge along with Jason Hartmann, fourth in Boston last year, and Fernando Cabada. Other international athletes include Guor Marial of South Sudan, Australia’s Jeffrey Hunt and Canadians Robin Watson and Eric Gillis.
Trio of top Ethiopians to challenge Cherop
Taking on Kenya’s defending champion Sharon Cherop will be three Ethiopian women with sub-2:22 personal bests – two-time Dubai champion and 2:19:31 course record-holder Aselefech Mergia, World half-marathon champion Meseret Hailu, and 2011 Frankfurt champion Mamitu Daska.
Past Boston champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya returns, as does Olympic fifth-place finisher Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko of Ukraine. Mexican record-holder Madai Pérez and a fourth Ethiopian, Alemitu Abera, are also in the field.
Former Cologne and Frankfurt Marathon winner Sabrina Mockenhaupt of Germany and European 10,000m champion Ana Dulce Félix of Portugal will be looking to break into sub-2:25 territory.
Additional talent includes Diana Chepkemoi of Kenya, Yolanda Caballero of Colombia, Karolina Jarzynska of Poland, René Kalmer of South Africa and Burundi record-holder Diane Nukuri-Johnson.
Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher, both past global medallists over 10,000m, will lead American hopes. They will be joined by team-mates Serena Burla, Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce and Alissa McKaig.
Organisers for the IAAF
Men (including PBs)
Moses Mosop (KEN) 2:03:06
Gebregziabher Gebremariam (ETH) 2:04:53
Markos Geneti (ETH) 2:04:54
Ryan Hall (USA) 2:04:58
Levy Matebo (KEN) 2:05:16
Shami Abdullah Dawit (ETH) 2:05:42
Dickson Chumba (KEN) 2:05:46
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:05:52
Wesley Korir (KEN) 2:06:13
Raji Assefa (ETH) 2:06:24
Abdihakem Abdirahman (USA) 2:08:56
Mebrahtom Keflezighi (USA) 2:09:08
Jeffrey Hunt (AUS) 2:11:00
Jason Hartmann (USA) 2:11:06
Eric Gillis (CAN) 2:11:28
Fernando Cabada (USA) 2:11:53
Guor Marial (RSS) 2:12:55
Robin Watson (CAN) 2:13:37
Micah Kogo (KEN) debut
Lucas Rotich (KEN) debut
Women (including PBs)
Aselefech Mergia (ETH) 2:19:31
Meseret Hailu (ETH) 2:21:09
Mamitu Daska (ETH) 2:21:59
Rita Jeptoo (KEN) 2:22:04
Sharon Cherop (KEN) 2:22:39
Madai Pérez (MEX) 2:22:59
Alemitu Abera (ETH) 2:23:14
Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko (UKR) 2:24:32
Kara Goucher (USA) 2:24:52
Shalane Flanagan (USA) 2:25:38
Ana Dulce Félix (POR) 2:25:40
Yolanda Caballero (COL) 2:26:17
Sabrina Mockenhaupt (GER) 2:26:21
Diana Chepkemoi (KEN) 2:26:53
Karolina Jarzynska (POL) 2:27:16
Serena Burla (USA) 2:28:27
Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce (USA) 2:29:35
René Kalmer (RSA) 2:29:59
Diane Nukuri-Johnson (BDI) 2:30:13
Alissa McKaig (USA) 2:31:56