Elite Athlete Field Facts & Notes
36 athletes19 Men 17 Women
3 Past ChampionsLelisa Desisa (2013, 2015) Caroline Rotich (2015) Wesley Korir (2012)
Top 10The top 10 women have run under 2:23:23 The top 10 men have run under 2:05:58
World Marathon Majors winnersLelisa Desisa (Boston, 2015, 2013) Tirfi Tsegaye (Berlin, 2014; Tokyo, 2014) Caroline Rotich (Boston, 2015) Wesley Korir (Boston, 2012) Tiki Gelana (London Olympics, 2012) Atsede Baysa (Chicago 2012, 2010) Michael Kipyego (Tokyo, 2012) Jelena Prokupcuka (New York City, 2006, 2005
Course Record Holders in the FieldTirfi Tsegaye holds the course record of the Tokyo Marathon (2:22:23) Tiki Gelana won the gold medal in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympic Games, setting an event record of 2:23:07.
12 countries, 80 marathonsThese athletes have won more than 80 global marathons in the following cities Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Daegu, Dongying, Dubai, Duluth, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Hamburg, Honolulu, Houston, Istanbul, Jacksonville, Lake Biwa, London Olympics, Las Vegas, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Macau, Marrakesh, Mumbai, New York City, Osaka, Ottawa, Paris, Prague, Quad Cities, Reims, Rotterdam, Sacramento, Saitama, San Diego, Seoul, St. Paul, Tallahassee, Taipei, Thessaloniki, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw, Xiamen, and Zurich. 11 Countries Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, Latvia, Netherlands, United States, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
The chase for the 2016 men’s title will be dynamic with ten men in the field holding personal bests under 2:06. Two-time Boston Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa, headlines the group seeking his third title. Desisa ran four marathons last year, finishing second in Dubai, winning Boston, placing seventh at the World Championships, and running to third in New York City. Joining Desisa with course experience is Wesley Korir. Korir has run Boston three times and is one of the most consistent marathoners in the world, having won Boston in 2012 and the Los Angeles Marathon twice.
Challenging the champions for the olive wreath are Yemane Tsegay, Wilson Chebet, and Michael Kipyego. Tsegay and Chebet finished second and third, respectively, in Boston last year. Tsegay has won eight global marathons, and claimed the silver medal at the 2015 IAAF World Championships Marathon. Chebet is a three-time winner in Amsterdam and a winner in Rotterdam. Kipyego is a past champion of the Tokyo Marathon.
Sub-2:05 men making their Boston debuts are Sammy Kitwara, Rotterdam champion and last year’s runner-up in Chicago; Tsegaye Mekonnen, who ran a 2:04:32 debut for the 2014 Dubai win; and Vienna and Amsterdam champion Getu Feleke.
Another fast trio of Lemi Berhanu Hayle, Stephen Chebogut and Deribe Robi will also contend for the win. Hayle is the 2015 Dubai and Warsaw champion, and also won Zurich in 2014. Chebogut has won marathons in Eindhoven, Reims and Istanbul, while Robi was runner-up in Eindhoven last year and won Marrakesh in 2014. All three men ran their personal best marathon times in 2015.
U.S. elite men include Ian Burrell, who finished as the first American at the World Championships Marathon this past summer, Girma Mecheso, who won the 2014 U.S. 20K Championships, and Jordan Chipangama, who is from Zambia, but lives and trains in America. Chipangama has won both the San Diego and San Jose Half Marathons.
Additional top contenders include 2011 Pan American gold medalist Solonei Da Silva, Dutch 5,000m champion Abdi Nageeye, two-time Olympian Cutbert Nyasango, Mumbai champion Jackson Kiprop, and 2015 Shanghai champion Paul Lonyangata.
On the women’s side, John Hancock has assembled a fast field with 10 women holding personal best times under 2:23:23. Defending Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich leads the field, but Tiki Gelana, the 2012 Olympic Marathon gold medalist and Ethiopian national record holder, will challenge her. Gelana, also a past champion of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, is seeking a place on the 2016 Ethiopian Olympic team with a strong Boston performance.
Also looking for a podium finish are Buzunesh Deba, Tirfe Tsegaye, Mamitu Daska and Atsede Baysa. Deba finished second in Boston in 2014 and third last year, and is the champion of eight marathons held in the United States. Tsegaye has won marathons in Berlin, Tokyo, Paris and Dubai, while Daska has had success on the roads of Boston, claiming both the B.A.A. 10K and B.A.A. Half Marathon titles. She has also won marathons in Dubai, Houston and Frankfurt. Baysa has won both Chicago and Paris twice, as well as Saitama.
Bringing Boston experience to the race are three-time Olympian Jelena Prokopcuka, who is a two-time New York City winner and two-time Boston runner up and Olympian Joyce Chepkirui, who won both Amsterdam and Honolulu last year, and finished tenth in Boston.
American Neely Spence Gracey will make her highly anticipated marathon debut in Boston. She comes to the race with a 1:09:59 half marathon personal best from her runner-up finish in Philadelphia last year. Sarah Crouch (formerly Sarah Porter) joins Spence Gracey as part of the American contingent. Crouch finished sixth in Chicago in 2014 and was 12th last year. She also won the Tallahassee Marathon in 2015.
From China, Lamei Sun will make her Boston debut. Sun won the Dongying Marathon and was runner-up in Beijing in 2012. Kenyans Valentine Kipketer and Flomena Cheyech Daniel will seek the title as well. Kipketer is a past champion of Amsterdam and Mumbai, while Daniel has won Paris, Vienna, Toronto and the Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014.
Ethiopians Tadelech Bekele, Fatuma Sado, and Fate Tola have impressive credentials as well. Bekele ran a 2:22:51 in Dubai in 2015; Sado is past winner of Los Angeles, Xiamen, Warsaw, Hamburg and Beijing; and Tola, who lives and trains in Germany, has won Vienna twice.