American duo attempt to claim another US marathon crown on Monday after their big-city wins in the US last year
Shalane Flanagan enjoyed a stirring victory in the Big Apple in November and now heads to Boston aiming for another win on Patriot’s Day on Monday (April 16).
As a child Flanagan watched her father run in the Boston Marathon and now, aged 36, she wants to try to win the famous race.
Fellow American Galen Rupp, the 2017 Chicago Marathon champion and Boston runner-up last year, is also aiming to win his second big-city marathon in the space of the last 12 months in the men’s race.
They are joined by US Olympians Desiree Linden, Abdi Abdirahman, Deena Kastor and Molly Huddle.
Also returning to Boston is Jordan Hasay, who set an American marathon debut record at Boston last year when she ran 2:23:00.
But the Americans will face tough opposition from international rivals. Leading the way is two-time world marathon gold medallist Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, who returns to defend her Boston title.
Kiplagat is a three-time Abbott World Marathon Majors Series winner and a champion of marathons in Boston, London, New York City and Los Angeles. Last year after Boston, she won the silver medal at the World Championships Marathon and then finished fourth in New York.
The women’s race also features Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia, a London champion and three-time winner of Dubai, plus 2014 Boston Marathon champion and course record holder Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia and fellow Ethiopian Mamitu Daska, a two-time winner in Frankfurt.
Caroline Rotich, who won the 2015 Boston Marathon, returns and is joined by fellow Kenyan Gladys Chesir, who makes her Boston debut after finishing runner-up in Amsterdam last year.
Jessica Draskau Petersson of Denmark, often seen on the UK scene with British club Straggers, makes her Boston Marathon debut.
The men’s field includes 2017 Boston and world champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya, two-time Boston champion Lelisa Desisa, and 2016 Boston winner Lemi Berhanu.
The 2017 world silver medallist Tamirat Tola is also there. Last year Tola won the Dubai Marathon in a fast 2:04:11.
Nobert Kigen, Evans Chebet, Felix Kandie and Philemon Rono are also among those athletes making their Boston debuts.
Recent withdrawals, meanwhile, include Jessica Augusto with a broken foot, and Dathan Ritzenhein.