Top Ten Contenders
Lemi Berhanu Hayle, Ethiopia (2:04:33): Hayle returns to defend his title and become the first Ethiopian to win Boston back-to-back. At the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon, he stayed with the lead pack for most of the race before faltering to 13th place. He rebounded with a January win in Xiamen and has additional wins in Dubai, Zurich and Warsaw.
Yemane Tsegay, Ethiopia (2:04:48): Tsegay finished third in Boston last year, claimed the silver medal at the 2015 IAAF World Championships Marathon and has nine global wins.
Emmanuel Mutai, Kenya (2:03:13): A London and Amsterdam champion, Mutai earned the silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships Marathon. He has finished five of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors, the Olympics Games Marathon and the World Championships Marathon.
Galen Rupp, USA (2:10:05): The three-time Olympian makes his Boston Marathon debut with two Olympic medals to his name. This year he won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Marathon in 2:10:05, which was the fastest time by an American in Olympic marathon competition. At the 2012 Olympic Games, he won the silver medal in the 10,000m.
Sammy Kitwara, Kenya (2:04:28): Kitwara has run six half marathons under one hour and is coming off a December win in Taipei. He’s a two-time runner-up in Chicago and has also made the podium in Tokyo.
Meb Keflezighi, USA (2:08:37): The 2014 Boston Marathon winner and 2004 Olympic silver medalist, Keflezighi won Boston in 2014 and New York City in 2009.
Wesley Korir, Kenya (2:06:13): Korir battled the heat of the 2012 Boston Marathon to earn the win. A two-time winner of the Los Angeles Marathon and past runner-up in Chicago, Korir has run Boston four times and has never finished out of the top five.
Sisay Lemma, Ethiopia (2:05:16): Lemma has won four marathons: Frankfurt, Vienna, Warsaw and Carpi. In 2013, 2015 and 2016, he ran three marathons each year and finished top five in all of those appearances except one.
Wilson Chebet, Kenya (2:05:27): Chebet returns for a fifth attempt at the coveted olive wreath. He has finished fifth, second and third in Boston. He won Amsterdam three times and has wins in Rotterdam and Honolulu.
Dino Sefir, Ethiopia ( 2:04:50): The 2016 Ottawa and Barcelona champion is back after recovering from injury and has been training with 2016 Boston champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle.
Atsede Baysa, Ethiopia (2:22:03): Baysa returns to defend her title. She has run more than 25 global marathons and is a two-time Chicago and Paris Marathon winner. Baysa has finished top-four in six Abbott World Marathon Majors and is also past champion of the Istanbul, Xiamen and Saitama Marathons.
Edna Kiplagat, Kenya (2:19:50): Kiplagat is a two-time IAAF World Championships gold medalist and a London, New York City and Los Angeles champion. She won the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series in 2013-2014.
Gladys Cherono, Kenya (2:19:25): Cherono is the seventh-fastest female marathoner of all time. In her 2015 debut, she finished runner-up in Dubai in 2:20:03. Later in the year, she won Berlin in 2:19:25, which was the third fastest women’s time on the course and the fastest marathon of the year. In 2014, she won the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
Desiree Linden, USA (2:22:38): Linden, a two-time Olympian and the fourth fastest American marathoner of all time, returns to Boston after finishing seventh at the 2016 Olympic Marathon. A top-five finisher in six Abbott World Marathon Majors, Linden narrowly missed winning Boston in 2011 by two seconds. She was also runner-up at the 2010 Chicago Marathon.
Buzunesh Deba, Ethiopia/Bronx, NY (2:19:59): Deba holds the Boston course record of 2:19:59 and is a nine-time marathon champion on U.S. soil, having recorded a career-high four wins in 2010. She finished runner-up at the New York City Marathon in 2011 and 2013.
Joyce Chepkirui, Kenya (2:24:11): Chepkirui finished third at Boston last year after leading for most of the closing miles. She followed Boston with a fourth-place finish at the 2016 New York City Marathon. Chepkirui won Amsterdam and is a two-time winner of Honolulu.
Rose Chelimo, Bahrain (2:24:14): Chelimo has run seven half marathons under 1:09:00, with a personal best of 1:08:08 from the 2016 Ras Al Khaimah International Half Marathon. She moved up to the marathon in 2016, winning her debut in Seoul and finishing eighth at the 2016 Olympics Marathon.
Caroline Rotich, Kenya (2:23:22): Rotich won the 2015 Boston Marathon and is returning to competition after recovering from injury. She earned her Boston title by out sprinting Mare Dibaba and Buzunesh Deba down the finishing stretch. Rotich has wins in Las Vegas and Prague.
Valentine Kipketer, Kenya (2:23:02):Kipketer was in the lead pack for most of the way in Boston last year before fading to fifth. At Chicago this past fall, she finished third, only 13 seconds behind second-place finisher Edna Kiplagat.
Jordan Hasay, USA (debut): Hasay won the U.S. 10 Mile Road Running Championships this past October, finishing in 52:49. In January, she was fourth in the Houston Half Marathon in 01:08:40, the second fastest half-marathon debut and sixth fastest ever run by an American female.