On the men’s side, Boston champs Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia), Caroline Rotich (Kenya), Geoffrey Mutai(Kenya) and Wesley Korir (Kenya) will all be back. Desisa will be defending his title from last year, looking to claim his third Boston Marathon overall. Mutai’s best finish came on the Boston course in 2011, when he completed the race in 2:03:02.
Challenging that group of champions for this year’s olive wreath areYemane Adhane Tsegay (Ethiopia), Wilson Chebet (Kenya), andMichael Kipyego (Kenya). Tsegay and Chebet finished second and third, respectively, in Boston last year.
Sammy Kitwara (Kenya), last year’s runner-up in Chicago and a former Rotterdam winner, is among the sub-2:05 men making their Boston debut this year. He’ll be joined by Tsegaye Mekonnen (Ethiopia), who ran to a 2:04:32 debut to earn a 2014 victory in Dubai.
U.S. elite men include Ian Burrell, who finished as the first American at the World Championships Marathon this past summer, and Girma Mecheso, who won the 2014 U.S. 20K Championships. Mecheso will be making his marathon debut.
San Diego and San Jose Half Marathon champion Jordan Chipangamafrom Zambia is also in the field. Chipangama lives and trains in the United States.
Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia), the 2012 Olympic Marathon gold medalist, leads the field on the women’s side as she makes her Boston debut. Gelana, also a past champion of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, is seeking a place on the 2016 Ethiopian Olympic team with a strong Boston performance. Her personal best time came in Rotterdam in 2012, when she ran a 2:18:58 marathon.
Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia), Tirfe Tsegaye (Ethiopia), Mamitu Daska(Ethiopia) and Atsede Bayisa (Ethiopia) are also eyeing a podium finish in Boston. Deba finished second in Boston in 2014 and third last year, and is the champion of eight marathons held in the United States. Tsegaye has won marathons in Berlin, Tokyo, Paris and Dubai, with a personal best of 2:20:18 in Berlin in 2014, while Daska has had success on the roads of Boston, claiming both the B.A.A. 10K and B.A.A. Half Marathon.
Bringing some Boston experience to the race are 2015 championCaroline Rotich (Kenya), who has run Boston three times. Three-time Olympian Jelena Prokopcuka (Latvia), who is a two-time New York City winner and two-time Boston runner up, and Olympian Joyce Chepkirui (Kenya), who won both Amsterdam and Honolulu last year and finished tenth in Boston, will also be back in 2016.
American Neely Spence Gracey will make her highly anticipated marathon debut in Boston.