Top Ten Contenders
Lelisa Desisa, Ethiopia: Defending and two-time Boston Marathon champion, Desisa is going for the three-peat. He won the silver medal at the 2013 World Championships Marathon and is past champion of Dubai. He has finished on the podium twice in New York City and has run five half marathons under the one-hour mark, with a best of 59:30.
Yemane Tsegay, Ethiopia: Last year, Tsegay finished second at the Boston Marathon and earned the silver medal at the IAAF World Championships Marathon. He then closed the year with a fifth-place showing at the New York City Marathon. His eight career marathon wins include setting course records in Ottawa, Daegu, and Taipei.
Sammy Kitwara, Kenya: Kitwara has finished runner-up at the Chicago Marathon for te past two years and was third in 2013 and fourth in 2012. He has also made the podium in Tokyo, running a 2:06:30 for third place. He’s won the World’s Best 10K in Puerto Rico five times, and represented Kenya on two IAAF World Half Marathon Championship teams, finishing 10th in 2001 and third in 2010.
Wilson Chebet, Kenya: Chebet returns for a fourth attempt at the coveted olive wreath. He has finished fifth, second, and third at the past three Boston Marathons. With an impressive sub-2:06 three-peat at the Amsterdam Marathon and wins in Rotterdam and Honolulu, Chebet is one to watch. He has run four sub-60-minute races and nine sub-61-minute races.
Wesley Korir, Kenya: Battling the heat of the 2012 Boston Marathon, Korir focused on tactics to move patiently from sixth place at mile 20, to second place at mile 24, to undisputed champion at the finish. A two-time winner of the Los Angeles Marathon and past runner-up in Chicago, Korir comes through in the big races.
Michael Kipyego, Kenya: Kipyego won the Tokyo Marathon in 2012, finished runner-up in 2013, and placed fourth in 2014. He has run ten marathons and will bring his experience to the race.
Tsegaye Mekonnen, Ethiopia: In 2014, Mekonnen made his marathon debut in Dubai as an 18-year-old. He not only won the race, but also set an unofficial world junior marathon record of 2:04:32. In January, he recorded a 2:04:46 for third place at the Dubai Marathon.
Lemi Berhanu Hayle, Ethiopia: Hayle will be 21 years old when he toes the starting line in Boston. Despite his youth, he has already won three marathons, set a 2:04:33 personal best, and competed for his country at the IAAF World Championships.
Getu Feleke, Ethiopia: Following a disappointing 2012 Olympics, Feleke has finished second in Rotterdam, won Vienna in a course record 2:05:41, and placed second in Fukuoka. Feleke has a half marathon personal best of 59:56.
Caroline Rotich, Kenya: Rotich is the defending Boston Marathon champion. She earned her title by out sprinting Mare Dibaba and Buzunesh Deba down the finishing stretch. She is a consistent marathoner with wins in Las Vegas and Prague. Rotich was fourth in Tokyo and Yokohama in 2014 and finished fourth at the 2011 Boston Marathon.
Buzunesh Deba, Ethiopia/Bronx, NY: Deba finished third last year and runner-up in 2014 in 2:19:59. She is an eight-time marathon champion in the United States and finished runner-up at the New York City Marathon in 2011 and 2013.
Tirfi Tsegaye, Ethiopia: In January, Tsegaye won the Dubai Marathon in 2:19:41. She also won the race in 2013. In 2014 Tsegaye won the Tokyo Marathon and set a new course record by almost three minutes. She then went on to win in Berlin in 2:20:18. She has additional wins in Paris, Shanghai, and Porto.
Tiki Gelana, Ethiopia: Gelana set the Ethiopian national record with her 2:18:58 performance in Rotterdam in the spring of 2012. Following that race, she won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games Marathon and set an event record. Last year she finished third at the Tokyo Marathon.
Atsede Baysa, Ethiopia: Baysa is one of the world’s most prolific and consistent top marathoners. She has won both the Chicago and Paris Marathons twice and has finished top-four in five World Marathon Majors. She is also past champion of the Istanbul and Xiamen Marathons and last year won the Saitama International Marathon in Japan.
Mamitu Daska, Ethiopia: Daska is the Ethiopian national-record-holder in the half marathon (1:06:28). She is past champion of Dubai, Houston, and Frankfurt. She won the Boston Athletic Association Distance Medley in 2014.
Joyce Chepkirui, Kenya: Winning her last two marathons, Chepkirui is gaining experience and momentum. After finishing tenth in Boston last year, she won the Amsterdam Marathon in a personal best 2:24:11, and then won the Honolulu Marathon. A half marathon specialist, Chepkirui has a personal best half marathon of 1:06:19, and has run under 1:10:00 nine times.
Neely Spence Gracey, United States: Spence Gracey is making her Boston Marathon debut this year. In 2015, She was runner-up at the Philadelphia Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon in 1:09:59, fourth at the U.S. 20K championships, second at the 10 Mile U.S. Championships, and winner of the Duluth Half Marathon.
Flomena Cheyech Daniel, Kenya: Champion of five marathons and the runner up at two, Daniel won the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Marathon, and earned her personal best during a formidable win at the 2014 Paris Marathon. She has run eight half marathons under 1:09:45, with a personal best of 1:07:39.
Jelena Prokopcuka, Latvia: Two-time New York City winner and twice runner-up in Boston, Prokopcuka is one to watch. She has run 14 World Marathon Majors and has finished top five in 17 career marathons. Prokopcuka is a three-time Olympian and holds national record in the marathon, half marathon (1:08:09), 20K, 10K, 10,000m, 5,000m, and 3,000m.