What you need to know:
- Keringet-based 2017 champion lost out to Japan’s Kawauchi last year
- Two-time world champ Edna Kiplagat leads Cherop, Saina, Rotich in women’s category
The Boston Marathon course has been described as one of the toughest among the six that host races of the Abbott World Major Marathons according to elite athletes who have participated in past races.
Last year’s edition featured cold and windy conditions that made it hard for Kenyan athletes to showcase their prowess in the 42km race.
The bad weather also forced more than 25 elite athletes to drop out of the race.
The race was won by Yuki Kawauchi from Japan in 2:15:54 ahead of Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui who clocked 2:18:23 while American Shadrack Biwott was third clocking 2:18:35.
The women’s category saw the USA’s Desiree Linden, a two-time Olympian, win the race in 2:39:54 ahead of compatriot Sarah Sellers who clocked 2:44:05 and Krista Duchene from Canada clocked 2:44:20.
Despite the harsh conditions experienced last year, this year’s edition has still attracted some of the finest athletes who will be seeking to reclaim the title won by Kawauchi.
World Marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui, who is also the 2017 Boston champion, narrowly missed the title last year and is among the elite athletes who will be seeking to triumph on the streets of the largest city in the state of Massachusetts.
Kirui has been training in Keringet, Nakuru County ahead of Monday’s race.
“I went to church on Saturday where I got special prayers from my pastor David Cheruiyot and I believe this will help me of course after good training to perform better. My program went on well and I will be eyeing a podium finish,” said Kirui.
The self-coached athlete said that he decided to train in Keringet and concentrate on the cold areas just in case the weather is as it was last year.
“I used to train in Keringet and Kaptagat but this year I decided to remain in my home area - Keringet which is quite cold. Last year’s race was very bad and I don’t expect to race in such conditions again because I finished the race but woke up in the hospital,” said soft-spoken Kirui.
The athlete will be competing against Amsterdam Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, 2017 Toronto Marathon champion Philemon Rono, Kenneth Kipkemoi, and the 2012 Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir.
Others include two-time Eindhoven Marathon title holder Festus Talam, Felix Kandie and Toronto Marathon champion Benson Kipruto.
The women category consists of two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, 2012 Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop, Paris Marathon champion Betsy Saina, 2015 Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich and debutant Mary Wacera.