Abbott World Marathon Majors Boston Marathon 2015 preview

Thirty-four elite athletes from nine countries make up this year's John Hancock's Elite Athlete field in Boston. Five past champions stand atop the list of athletes vying for the coveted olive wreath, but a talented field of men and women possessing both speed and depth will challenge the champions on their journeys from Hopkinton to Boston.

Boston Marathon: Monday, April 20, 2015
Boston champions Meb Keflezighi, Lelisa Desisa, Wesley Korir, Sharon Cherop and Caroline Kilel will join Olympic and IAAF World Championships medalists; champions of 12 Abbott World Marathon Majors; and the combined winners of over 80 global marathons.

The chase for the 2015 men's title will be aggressive, with seven men in the field boasting personal best marathon times under 2:05:30 and 10 men with times under 2:06:30. Former world marathon record-holder and two-time BMW Berlin-Marathon champion Patrick Makau leads the group. Lelisa Desisa, the 2013 Boston Marathon champion and 2013 World Championships Marathon silver medalist, will challenge for the win as will Abel Kirui, the two-time World Championships Marathon gold medalist. Tadese Tola, the 2013 World Championships Marathon bronze medalist, is also in the field, as is accomplished marathoner Yemane Tsegay, who has won eight global marathons. Not to be forgotten, Meb Keflezighi brings experience and a strategic approach to the course. Along with his 2014 Boston Marathon victory, he is an Olympic Marathon silver medalist and TCS New York City Marathon champion.

The fastest field in the history of the event has been assembled on the women's side with nine women holding personal best times under 2:22:40. Leading the way with experience are past Boston Marathon champions Sharon Cherop and Caroline Kilel. Cherop won Boston in 2012 and placed third in 2011 and 2013. Kilel won Boston in 2011 and earned a silver medal at last year's Commonwealth Games Marathon.

Chasing the Kenyan duo is a team of Ethiopia's most accomplished runners: Aberu Kebede, Buzunesh Deba and Mare Dibaba. Kebede is a two-time champion of Berlin and winner of Tokyo. Deba and Dibaba bring podium experience back to Boston, as Deba was second and Dibaba third last year. Also focused on the podium is American Shalane Flanagan. Flanagan captured the spotlight in 2014 with her uncompromising drive to set the pace for an aggressive race from the gun. While Flanagan faded from contention after the infamous Newton hills, she posted the fastest time (2:22:02) ever run by an American woman in Boston.

Top Elite Fields (sub 2:06, sub 2:24, plus other notable runners)

Men's Field
Patrick Makau
Lelisa Desisa
Yemane Tsegaye
Tadese Tola
Gebre Gebremariam
Abel Kirui
Wilson Chebet
Frankline Chepkwony
Wesley Korir
Bernard Kipyego
Dathan Ritzenhein
Meb Keflezighi
Matt Tegenkamp

Women's Field
Mare Dibaba
Buzunesh Deba
Aberu Kebede
Shure Demise Ware
Shalane Flanagan
Aleksandra Duliba
Sharon Cherop
Caroline Kilel
Desiree Linden
Caroline Rotich
Amy Hastings

Current Leaderboard Standings:

Endeshaw Negesse (ETH): 25 pts
Stephen Kiprotich (UGA): 16 pts
Dickson Chumba (KEN): 9 pts
Shumi Dechasa (BRN): 4 pts
Peter Some (KEN): 1 pt

Birhane Dibaba (ETH): 25 pts
Helah Kiprop (KEN): 16 pts
Tiki Gelana (ETH): 9 pts
Selly Chepyego (KEN): 4 pts
Flomena Daniel (KEN): 1 pt

About Abbott World Marathon Majors
The Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW BERLIN, Bank of America Chicago, and TCS New York City Marathons together represent the Abbott World Marathon Majors and serve as Qualifying Races. In the years in which they are run, the Series also includes the IAAF World Championships and Olympic Marathons. At the conclusion of each Series cycle, a $1 million prize purse is divided equally between the top male and female marathoners in the world as determined by points earned in Qualifying Races. The inaugural 2006-2007 WMM Series was launched at the 110th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2006, and concluded at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2007. The Tokyo Marathon became a Qualifying Race in October 2012, and the 2013-2014 series, the WMM's eighth two-year series, began with the Tokyo Marathon on Feb. 24, 2013, and concluded at the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 2, 2014. The first Abbott World Marathon Majors series, titled AWMM Series IX, began at the Tokyo Marathon 2015 and will conclude after completion of the Tokyo Marathon 2016.


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