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Runners to watch at the Boston Marathon

A look at the top runners in the field for Monday’s running of the Boston Marathon. Bib numbers in parentheses next to names.

Elite Men

Lelisa Desisa (1)

Personal Best: 2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)

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Age: 24

Country: Ethiopia

Boston Best: 1st in 2013 (2:10:22)

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Of Note: Won Boston in 2013 after sprinting past Micah Kogo of Kenya and Gebregziabher Gebremariam of Ethiopia on the final stretch of Boylston Street. Returned to Boston again in October of 2013 to set a new course record at the B.A.A. Half Marathon (1:00:34). Won this year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon with a time of 59:36.

Dennis Kimetto (3)

Personal Best: 2:03:45 (Chicago, 2013)

Age: 30

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: Debut

Of Note: Won the Chicago Marathon in October of 2013 and set a course record with a time of 2:03:45. Started the 2013 season with a win at the Tokyo Marathon in February (2:06:50) and made his debut at the 2012 Berlin Marathon with a second place time of 2:04:16.

Gebregziabher Gebremariam (4)

Personal Best: 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011)

Age: 29

Country: Ethiopia

Boston Best: Third in 2011 (2:04:53)

Of Notes: Last year, finished third with a time of 2:10:28, just six seconds behind Desisa. In 2011, the two-time Olympian set his personal with a time of 2:04:53 to earn a third-place finish in Boston. Won the New York City Marathon in 2010 (2:08:14).

Markos Geneti (5)

Personal Best: 2:04:54 (Dubai, 2012)

Age: 29

Country: Ethiopia

Boston Best: Sixth in 2013 (2:12:44)

Of Notes: Geneti made his Boston debut last year and turned in a solid sixth-place finish (2:12:44). He kicked off the 2014 season at the Dubai Marathon, finishing second (2:05:13). Won the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon and broke the course record with a time of 2:06:35.

Ryan Hall (6)

Personal Best: 2:04:58 (Boston, 2011)

Age: 31

Country: USA

Boston Best: Third in 2009 (2:09:40)

Of Note: Is eager to run in 2014 after missing last year’s race because of an injury. Hall has run Boston three times, finishing fourth in 2011 and 2010, and third in 2009. He recorded the fastest Boston Marathon time run by an American in 2011 (2:04:58). Graduated from Stanford and was a three-time All-American in cross-country.

Wilson Chebet (7)

Personal Best: 2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)

Age: 28

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: Fifth in 2012 (2:14:56)

Of Note: Chebet established himself as one of the world’s best marathoners after winning Amsterdam three years in a row (2011-13), running sub-2:06 times each race. In 2011, before Amsterdam, he also won Rotterdam with a sub-2:06 finish (2:05:27).

Tilahun Regassa (8)

Personal Best: 2:05:27 (Chicago, 2012)

Age: 24

Country: Ethiopia

Boston Best: Debut

Of Note: Ran one of the fastest marathon debuts of all time when he finished third at the 2012 Chicago Marathon (2:05:27). The following spring he won the 2013 Rotterdam Marathon in 2:05:38. Has run the half marathon under 1:01:00 five times, including a 59:36 win at the 2008 Lille Half Marathon.

Frankline Chepkwony (11)

Personal Best: 2:06:11 (Eindhoven, 2012)

Age: 29

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: Debut

Of Note: Makes his Boston debut with two marathon victories on his resume — the 2013 Seoul Marathon (2:06:59) and the 2012 Zurich Marathon (2:10:58). Won the Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon in a personal-best 1:00:11. Debuted at the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon in 2011 and finished second (2:10:59).

Micah Kogo (12)

Personal Best: 2:06:56 (Chicago, 2013)

Age: 27

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: Second in 2013 (2:10:27)

Of Note: Kogo impressed in his Boston debut last year, finishing just five seconds behind Desisa for second place. In the fall, he improved his personal-best time with a 2:06:56 fourth-place finish in Chicago. Won the bronze medal in the 10,000-meter at the 2008 Olympic Games and is a former 10K world record holder.

Adil Annani (14)

Personal Best: 2:07:43 (London, 2012)

Age: 33

Country: Morocco

Boston Best: Debut

Of Note: After injured for most of 2010, recorded his personal best of 2:07:43 with a fourth-place finish at the London Marathon in 2012. Made his marathon debut in 2008 with a third-place finish at the Marrakech Marathon (2:11:05), and followed that with victories at the 2008 Casablanca Marathon (2:12:03) and the 2009 Beppu Marathon (2:10:15).

Elite Women

Rita Jeptoo (1)

Personal Best: 2:19:57 (Chicago, 2013)

Age: 33

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: First in 2013 (2:26:25)

Of Note: Became the top female marathoner in the world in 2013 after winning Boston for the second time (first in 2006), and then set the fastest women’s time of the year with a commanding 2:19:57 win in Chicago. Also won in Eldoret (2011), Milan (2004), and Stockholm (2004).

Mare Dibaba (2)

Personal Best: 2:19:52 (Dubai, 2012)

Age: 24

Country: Ethiopia

Boston Best: Debut

Of Note: Recorded her first career win at this year’s Xiamen Marathon with a course-record 2:21:36. Named to the Ethiopian Olympic marathon squad after running a 2:19:52 in Dubai, but finished 23d at the London Olympics in 2012. Finished third in Los Angeles in 2011 with a time of 2:30:25.

Jemima Jelagat Sumgong (3)

Personal Best: 2:20:48 (Chicago, 2013)

Age: 29

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: Second in 2012 (2:31:52)

Of Note: Finished two seconds behind Sharon Cherop in 2012 and is seeking her first Boston victory. Won Rotterdam in 2013 with a time of 2:23:27 and the Castellon in 2011 (2:28:32). Has never finished outside of the top five in marathon performances.

Eunice Kirwa (5)

Personal Best: 2:21:41 (Amsterdam, 2012)

Age: 28

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: Debut

Of Note: Enjoyed a successful 2013 season, running three marathons and finishing in the top three twice. She finished second in Xiamen (2:30:00) and third in Paris (2:23:34), while finishing fifth in Frankfurt (2:23:45). Won her debut race in 2012 (Asunción Maratón Internacional, 2:33:43).

Sharon Cherop (6)

Personal Best: 2:22:28 (Berlin, 2013)

Age: 30

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: First in 2012 (2:31:50)

Of Note: Finished third last year, running with winner Rita Jeptoo and runner-up Meseret Hailu Debele until the closing mile. Cherop has plenty of success in Boston, winning in 2012 and finishing third in 2011 (2:22:42). Cherop closed the 2013 season with a victory in Singapore (2:41:12).

Caroline Kilel (7)

Personal Best: 2:22:34 (Frankfurt, 2013)

Age: 33

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: First in 2011 (2:22:36)

Of Note: After not finishing Boston in 2012, Kilel returned to elite form, posting a new personal best (2:22:34) with her win in Frankfurt. In 2011, Kilel earned a two-second victory over American Desiree Linden to win in Boston. Has eight career marathon wins during her career.

Desiree Linden (8)

Personal Best: 2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)

Age: 30

Country: USA

Boston Best: Second in 2011 (2:22:38)

Of Note: After an injury at the London Olympics, Linden returned in 2013 and placed fifth at the Berlin Marathon (2:29:15) and is hungry to win in Boston after a narrow second-place finish in 2011. The former Arizona State All-American also finished runner up at the US National Half Marathon Championships in 2013.

Flomena Chepchichir Chumba (9)

Personal Best: 2:23:00 (Frankfurt, 2013)

Age: 32

Country: Kenya

Boston Best: Debut

Of Note: Won in Seoul last March with a time of 2:25:43, and followed that in October by setting her personal best in Frankfurt with a second-place finish (2:23:00). Thrived half marathons, with wins at the 2012 Lille Half Marathon (68:06), the 2011 Zwolle Half Marathon (68:22), and the 2011 Den Haag City-Pier-City Half Marathon (69:06).

Buzunesh Deba (10)

Personal Best: 2:23:19 (New York City, 2011)

Age: 26

Country: Ethiopia

Boston Best: Debut

Of Note: After running in New York four of the last five years, Deba is ready to tackle the Boston course. She finished second in New York in 2013 (2:25:56) and 2011 (2:23:19), and finished 10th and seventh in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Has won eight marathons on US soil, the last being her course-record-breaking performance in San Diego in 2011 (2:23:31).

Shalane Flanagan (17)

Personal Best: 2:25:38 (Houston, 2012)

Age: 32

Country: USA

Boston Best: Fourth in 2013 (2:27:08)

Of Note: Flanagan, who grew up in Marblehead, Mass., is a three-time Olympian. She finished second in New York (2:28:40) in 2010 in her marathon debut, and finished 10th at the 2012 London Olympics (2:26:07). Holds North and Central American records in the indoor 3,000- and 5,000-meter and the outdoor 10,000.

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