Reigning champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel will face stiff competition in this year's Boston Marathon as a host of elite stars confirm they will take part in the 116th edition of the event on Monday, April 16.
The 2011 race saw Mutai prevail with a dazzling time of 2:03:02. In April, Mutai will be leading a field that includes last year's third-place finisher and 2010 New York City champion Gebre Gebremariam, 2011 Amsterdam and Rotterdam winner Wilson Chebet and 2010 Boston champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot.
In the women's race, Kilel will be joined by Kenyan teammates Sharon Cherop and Caroline Rotich. Both runners matched Kilel until the final miles of last year's race and finished third and four place respectively. Perhaps more tellingly, three women in the field, Aselefech Mergia, Galina Bogomolova, and Mamit Daska, all boast personal records better than Kilel's winning time of 2:22:36.
First appearing in 1897 with merely 18 runners, the Boston Marathon is the oldest annual city marathon in the world. One of the five World Marathon Majors, the route is considered to be one of the most challenging courses on the circuit. Last year's race attracted over 25,000 entrants and drew in about 500,000 spectators.