Defending champions Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya will return for the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014, sponsor John Hancock announced Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Desisa won last year's Marathon in a time of 2:10:22; Jeptoo, also the 2006 Marathon winner, prevailed in 2:26:25.
"I am very excited to return to Boston this spring to show that we are united in our athletic community and are ready to stand up and show the world we are not afraid," said Desisa, referring to the Marathon bombings. Two months after the Marathon, Desisa returned to participate in the BAA 10K and gave his Marathon medal to the city to honor those affected by the bombings.
Added Jeptoo, "Coming back is so nice for me to try to win again and hopefully to bring some hope and joy to families and to the injured. It also will be an honor to run Boston again to show the world that we don't give in to fear."
"We are delighted to have both Rita and Lelisa join us again in 2014 for the 118th Boston Marathon," said Tom Grilk, BAA executive director.