Two-time winner Lelisa Desisa and Tiki Gelana are among the athletes in Boston Marathon action on Monday

Lelisa Desisa is to form part of a strong field when he returns to defend his Boston Marathon title on Monday.

The Ethiopian is a two-time winner of the event, having won in 2013 and 2015, and he will be up against his fellow countrymen Tsegaye Mekonnen (winner in Dubai in 2014 in 2:04:32), Lemi Berhanu Hayle (a 2:04:33 man), Yemane Tsegay (PB 2:04:48) and Getu Feleke (PB 2:04:50).

The Kenyan contingent is led by Sammy Kitwara (runner-up in the last two Chicago Marathons), Wilson Chebet (fifth, second and third in the last three Boston Marathons), Wesley Korir (2012 Boston winner) and Stephen Chebogut (Eindhoven winner in October in 2:05:52).

In total, the race features six men with PBs inside 2:05 and 11 with bests quicker than 2:07.

The women’s field is led by Tiki Gelana – the Ethiopian record-holder with 2:18:58 – and fellow Ethiopians Buzunesh Deba, Tirfi Tsegaye, Mamitu Daska, Tadelech Bekele and Atsede Baysa.

Challengers include Flomena Cheyech Daniel of Kenya – a 2:22:44 athlete, last year’s winner, Caroline Rotich of Kenya, plus Yelena Prokopcuka of Latvia.

Former winner Geoffrey Mutai pulled out of Boston citing poor preparation. The Kenyan won the race in 2011 in 2:03:02 but that mark could not be ratified due to the downhill and point-to-point profile of the course.

The event was first held in 1897 and Mutai’s time is not only a course record but the second-fastest time in history.

Run on Patriot’s Day, the Boston Marathon is a national institution in the United States and its famous course includes features such as Heartbreak Hill.

» Check out the April 14 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine, which can be ordered here or read digitally here, for a two-page feature on Lelisa Desisa