Chebet’s chance to join exclusive club

Evans Chebet stands on the threshold of entry to an illustrious four-man club ahead of Boston Marathon weekend.

The 25-year-old Kenyan has his sights trained on a third consecutive victory at the race that would place him alongside Robert Cheruiyot (2006, 07 and 08), Cosmas Ndeti (1993, 94 and 95), Bill Rodgers (1978, 79, and 80) and Clarence H. DeMar (1922, 23 and 24) as the only men to have completed the feat in the able-bodied division.

It’s a marked turnaround in Chebet’s relationship with a race he vowed not to return to after recording a DNF in the bone-chilling storm that battered the 2018 edition.

He can also perhaps call on the added motivation that his omission from the provisional Kenyan marathon squad for this summer’s Olympics can provide.

The man from Kapsabet, who also has the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon to his name, can feel slightly hard done by given the hilly nature of the forthcoming course in Paris added to the fact that it is likely to be extremely warm – just as it was when he won in the Big Apple.

Another powerful and patient performance on the roads from Hopkinton to the Back Bay may yet tempt the selectors to reassess their choices.

Chebet’s two victories in Boston have come in similar fashion, waiting until the Newton Hills to strike before pulling away from some strong competition, which included the great Eliud Kipchoge last year.

Can Sisay spoil the party?

This year, the fastest man Chebet faces is the 2021 TCS London Marathon champion Sisay Lemma, who ran 2:01:48 on the lightning-quick course of Valencia late last year. His fellow Ethiopian Mohamed Esa was second by a hair's breadth in Tokyo in 2023 and will be keen to avenge a DNF last time out in Chicago in October.

Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay returns to try and better his second place from 2023, and the 2020 London champion Shura Kitata has unfinished business in Boston after a 14th-place finish last year.

Then there is Albert Korir, who seems built for the grind of courses like Boston and New York. The 2021 AbbottWMM series champion has a PB of 2:06:57, which ruffles no feathers at the top end of the sport these days, but he has won in New York and been second there twice. He was fourth in Boston last year and deserves this field’s respect.

The contenders and their history here suggests this will once again come down to a game of chess until the hills begin to claim their victims.

Chebet’s experience can come into play once again at that point, and it will be down to the rest to match his resilience when the moment comes.

Share this post

Other news

Marathon Talk meets Mallory Creveling - Runner’s World Deputy Editor, Health & Fitness

Marathon Talk Episode 43: Mallory Creveling - Runner’s World Deputy Editor, Health & Fitness

Marathon Talk meets Mallory Creveling - Runner’s World Deputy Editor, Health & Fitness

Running in the Family

Running marathons brings an Abbott employee and his 80-year-old father closer together
Marathon Tours & Travel sponsors Abbott World Marathon Majors Age Group World Championships

Marathon Tours & Travel to sponsor Age Group programs

AbbottWMM Age Group program joins forces with global marathon tour operator