BOSTON, Massachusetts – The 123rd Boston Marathon has arrived, and for the second consecutive year, conditions are expected to be wet and windy. Could that be in favor of the defending women’s champion?
Desiree (Des) Linden has the chance to become the first American woman to win back-to-back Boston Marathon titles since Sara Mae Berman won three in a row from 1969-1971. A year ago, Linden, a two-time Olympian, battled the rain, cold and wind to become the first American woman to win the race since 1985. It was also the first marathon win of her career.
Also returning is American Sarah Sellers, last year’s surprise runner-up. Back then, she was a virtual unknown. Now, she’s part of this year’s field of elite runners. Jordan Hasay of the US, who missed last year’s race because of a foot injury, is seen as a contender. She finished third in her debut in 2017.
Other women in the elite field to watch will be 2017 champion Edna Kiplagat and Caroline Rotich, who won in 2015. Both are from Kenya. Another name to watch is Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, who ran 2:17:41 at the Dubai Marathon in January. That time was the fourth-fastest ever, though she didn’t win the race (That went to Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich, who is not running Boston).
For the men, defending champion Yuki Kawauchi, the first Japanese man to win this storied race since 1987, is back. Former champions Geoffrey Kirui (2017) and Lelisa Desisa (2013, 2015) are expected to be in the mix. American men in the field include Shadrack Biwott, who finished third last year, as well as Jared Ward, Scott Fauble and Dathan Ritzenhein.
The last American man to win in Boston was Meb Keflezighi, in 2014. He is serving as the Grand Marshal for this year’s race.
In the wheelchair division, Switzerland’s Marcel Hug is aiming for his fifth consecutive Boston Marathon title. On the women’s side, defending champion American Tatyana McFadden is going for her sixth title.
Here are the start times for Monday’s race:
- Men’s Wheelchair: 9:02 a.m. ET
- Women’s Wheelchair: 9:04 a.m. ET
- Handcycles and Duos: 9:25 a.m. ET
- Elite Women: 9:32 a.m. ET
- Elite Men: 10:00 a.m. ET
- Wave One: 10:02 a.m. ET
- Wave Two: 10:25 a.m. ET
- Wave Three: 10:50 a.m. ET
- Wave Four: 11:15 a.m.