5 things we love about the 2022 Boston women’s field
The 2022 Boston Marathon will mark the 50th anniversary of the first women’s field in the race, and the organizers have assembled an eye-catching cast to mark the milestone.
Featuring Olympic and Paralympic champions as well as all the current AbbottWMM women's Series champions, the 126th edition of the world’s oldest continuously held marathon is shaping up to be a thrilling spectacle.
Here are our top five takes from their elite field announcement.
1. The joint champs are going head-to-head
In 2021 the Majors broke new ground by naming Joyciline Jepkosgei and Peres Jepchirchir as joint champions of the women’s Series. Jepkosgei triumphed on her marathon debut in New York City in 2019 and was then crowned London champion in October 2021, while Jepchirchir became Olympic champion and then won in New York at the back end of 2021 to earn a share of the spoils. The chance to watch them in a showdown on a course with no pacemakers is already a contender for the duel of the year.
2. Edna is back
Flying the flag for the masters, the grand dame of marathon running is back in her spiritual home. After conquering the roads from Hopkinton to Boston in 2017, the three-time AbbottWMM Series champion and Six Star Finisher has recorded two second place finishes in 2019 and 2021. On both occasions, the 42-year-old came on strong to trim the gap to the leader in the final miles. Clearly, she is built to bring out her best in Boston, and she is an absolute joy to watch in full flight.
3. Des is back
After running Boston under an injury cloud in 2021, the 2018 champion and first American woman to win the race in 33 years, Desiree Linden returns to the course that made her name once again. That in itself allows us to dust off one of the most memorable finishes in Majors history.
In a strong American lineup, she will be up against Olympic bronze medallist Molly Seidel, who backed her Sapporo performance up with third place in New York last November in a personal best of 2:24:42, and the second fastest American woman in history, Sara Hall. Can one of them make the podium?
4. Mega battle in wheelchair race
There are storylines everywhere you look in the women’s wheelchair field. Defending champion Manuela Schär returns after sweeping her third consecutive AbbottWMM Series title in 2021. She will face a resurgent Tatyana McFadden, desperate to add to her 23 Majors wins, and the Paralympic champion Madison de Rozario, who beat them both in a dominant display last time they met in New York City. They may all be peering a little nervously at the youngster on the start line, Merle Menje. The German teenager announced herself in some style in 2021, coming fourth in Berlin and then pipping McFadden to second in London seven days later.
5. The return of Susannah Scaroni
The sight of Susannah Scaroni’s name on the start list for the women’s wheelchair marathon was perhaps the best piece of news in the whole field. Scaroni, the 5,000m Paralympic champion in Tokyo last year, was hit by a car at full speed during training in September. She suffered a burst fracture of her T8 vertebrae and spent weeks in a brace recovering from the injury. It’s great to see her make her way back to the start line of a Major marathon.