Marathon To Feature Second-Largest Field In Race History
Send a link to a friend
[April 21, 2014]
BOSTON (Reuters) — Some 36,000
athletes, including Kenyan and Ethiopian runners who are consistently
ranked among the world's fastest, will run in the 118th Boston Marathon
on Monday, putting the world-renown race back in the spotlight after it
was marred by last year's bombing attack.
Returning men's and women's champions Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia
and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya are among the top-ranked runners expected
to compete in the 26.2 mile race.
But each faces a rival with a faster personal-best time: Dennis
Kimetto of Kenya ran last year's Chicago Marathon in 2:03:45 and
Ethiopia's Mare Dibaba turned in a 2:19:52 performance at the 2012
No American athlete has stood atop the podium on Boston's Boylston
Street, not far from the site of last year's bombing, since 1985
when Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach of Michigan won the women's race. The
drought has been longer for U.S. men: Greg Meyer of Massachusetts
won in 1983.
But there are several U.S. hopefuls in the field, including Ryan
Hall of California, who placed third in 2009 and Desiree Linden, who
missed winning by just two seconds in 2011.
Race organizers expanded the field by some 9,000 runners this year,
to allow the roughly 5,000 athletes who had been left on the course
last year when the twin pressure-cooker bombs went off near the
finish line another chance to compete.
[to top of second column]
Amateur runners often work for years to post the strict age-graded
times needed to qualify for the elite race.
Three people died and 264 were injured last year when a pair of
ethnic Checker brothers bombed the finish line, prosecutors contend.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; editing by
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.