The elite international fields for the 123rd Boston Marathon on April 15 are set. Nine Boston Marathon open champions and seven Boston Marathon wheelchair champions will challenge their respective fields. Combined, the field has won more than 200 international marathons.
“This year we welcome back 16 returning champions to challenge an accomplished international field of Olympians, World Champions and Abbott World Marathon Majors winners,’’ said John Hancock chief marketing officer Barbara Goose. “We recognize the commitment and hard work it takes to compete at the highest level of the sport and look forward to another compelling race in Boston.’’
Leading the men’s field are 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan; 2017 Boston and 2017 IAAF World Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya; two-time Boston champion and 2018 TCS New York City Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia; 2016 Boston victor Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia; and 2012 Boston champion Wesley Korir of Kenya.
Of the 22 women in the elite field, 11 have personal bests under 2 hours, 23 minutes.
Leading the way is 2018 winner Desiree Linden of the United States. Also in contention will be two-time World Championships Marathon gold medalist, three-time Abbott World Marathon Majors series winner and 2017 Boston champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya; 2015 Boston, Prague and Las Vegas winner Caroline Rotich of Kenya; and 2012 Boston, Hamburg, Toronto, Torino, and Singapore winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya.
In the men’s wheelchair division, previously announced defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland looks for his fifth title and is part of an impressive international field featuring 10-time winner Ernst van Dyk of South Africa. In 19 Boston appearances, van Dyk has 10 wins, five runner-ups, and a pair of third-place finishes.
In the women’s wheelchair division, Manuela Schar of Switzerland returns to the scene of her course record and world best performance. Schar finished in 1:28:17 in 2017, becoming the first woman to dip under the 1:30 barrier in Boston. She’ll be joined on the starting line by compatriot Sandra Graf.
Five-time winner and defending champion Tatyana McFadden fronts the American charge, leading Susannah Scaroni, Amanda McGrory, Arielle Rausin, Katrina Gerhard, and Michelle Wheeler.
Here is a look at all of the elite fields: