Defending champion Robert Cheruiyot headlines the field at the 111th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16. Cheruiyot set a course record of 2:07:14 on his way to winning his second Boston Marathon. Cheruiyot also won the Chicago Marathon last October, vaulting him to the top of the standings in the World Marathon Majors.
Cheruiyot will be challenged once again by last year’s runner-up Benjamin Maiyo. Maiyo led last year’s race until approximately 30k, running well under course-record pace before being reeled in by Cheruiyot. He returns this year after a disappointing Chicago last fall, determined to win his first marathon.
Other contenders include Stephen Kiogora, a training partner of Maiyo’s who was 2nd at the 2006 New York Marathon and Robert Cheboror, owner of the fastest time in the field at 2:06:23. Cheboror was 5th at Chicago in the fall. 2005 champion Hailu Negussie of Ethiopia returns as well. Not to be overlooked is Philip Manyim, winner of the 2005 Berlin Marathon in a personal best of 2:07:41.
The biggest name in the women’s field is American Deena Kastor, bronze medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Her personal best of 2:19:36 from last year’s London Marathon is the fastest of the field by more than 3 minutes.
However, defending champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya returns, as does Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, who was second here last year but victorious in New York. Little-known Madai Perez of Mexico could also figure in the outcome. Her personal best of 2:22:59 was good enough for 4th in last year’s Chicago Marathon.
Kastor may seem to be the heavy favourite, but she is making her debut on the tricky Boston course that Jeptoo mastered last year. Meanwhile, Prokopcuka, in winning New York, convincingly beat both Kastor and Jeptoo.
The race can be seen free of charge courtesy of WBZ-TV in Boston, starting at 10 am.