The 2023 Boston Marathon features some of the most impressive fields in the race’s history. For the second year in a row, 12 former champions are back in the field.
On the women’s side, Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso leads a group of five women with personal bests under 2:18 — the current course record is 2:19:59 — along with three former champions.
The men will be led out by the incomparable Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathoner in history by performance, accolades, and any other measure, for the first time, as he looks to tick one more item off his ever-shortening bucket list over 26.2 miles.
Here’s what you need to know about the elite fields.
Boston Marathon men’s elite field
Start time: 9:37 a.m.
2022 winner: Evans Chebet, Kenya, 2:06:51
Course record: 2:03:02 (Geoffrey Mutai, Kenya, 2011)
There is no bigger headliner in distance running than Eliud Kipchoge. The accolades speak for themselves: two Olympic gold medals, a world record — 2:01:09 — that once seemed unthinkable, dominance at every major marathon outside of New York and Boston, four of the six fastest performances in history, a mind-boggling run of 1:59:40 at a special event in Vienna in 2019 that doesn’t count for record purposes, but remains one of the sport’s greatest achievements.
Kipchoge has long been the BAA’s biggest prize for its marquee race (getting his name above the dotted line was nicknamed “Project Eagle” internally), and he’s finally scheduled to answer the gun in Hopkinton on April 17.
Even for the most dominant marathoner in history, it’s no gimme. He’ll have six men with personal bests better than 2:05 for company, including a pair of 2:03:00 performers in defending champion Evans Chebet and Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay. Former winners Lelisa Desisa and Benson Kipruto will be tough outs, too.
And regardless of what time Kipchoge runs, if he breaks his own world record it won’t count. Here’s why.
|Eliud Kipchoge||Kenya||2:01:09 WR|
|Gabriel Geay||Tanzania||2:03:00 NR|
Boston Marathon women’s elite field
Start time: 9:47 a.m.
2022 winner: Peres Jepchirchir, Kenya, 2:21:01
Course record: 2:19:59 (Buzunesh Deba, Ethiopia, 2014)
In 2019, the fastest entrant for the women’s elite race was Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia with a personal best of 2:19:31. In 2023, eight women will hit the road in Hopkinton boasting better marks than that one, led by Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso, whose stunning run in Valencia in December made her the third fastest woman in history at 2:14:58.
Three former women’s champions return: American Des Linden, Ethiopian Atsede Baysa, and the timeless Edna Kiplagat.
|Amane Beriso||Ethiopia||2:14:58 NR|
Boston Marathon men’s wheelchair elite field
Start time: 9:02 a.m.
2022 winner: Daniel Romanchuk, United States, 1:26:58
Course record: 1:18:04 (Marcel Hug, Switzerland, 2017)
American Daniel Romanchuk and Switzerland’s Marcel Hug have won each of the last seven men’s wheelchair races and will be the favorites this year, too. Ten-time winner Ernst Van Dyk, historically dominant on this course from 2001 to 2014, will race Boston for the final time at age 50.
|Marcel Hug^||Switzerland||1:17:47 WR|
|Ernst van Dyk^||South Africa||1:18:04|
|Aaron Pike||United States||1:20:02|
|Johnboy Smith||Great Britain||1:20:05|
Boston Marathon women’s wheelchair elite field
Start time: 9:05 a.m.
2022 winner: Manuela Schär, Switzerland, 1:41:08
Course record: 1:28:17 (Schär, 2017)
Tatyana McFadden and Manuela Schär have held an American-Swiss duopoly over the women’s wheelchair division, sharing the last nine titles between them.
The two will be challenged by Susannah Scaroni, the fastest entrant in the field.
|Susannah Scaroni||United States||1:27:31|
|Manuela Schär^||Switzerland||1:28:17 (CR)|
|Madison de Rozario||Australia||1:31:11|
|Tatyana McFadden^||United States||1:31:30|
|Jenna Fesemyer||United States||1:33:50|
Amin Touri can be reached at email@example.com.