NEWS

Boston Champions & Global Stars Set to Square Off at 128th Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America

EVANS CHEBET, MARCEL HUG, SISAY LEMMA AMONG THOSE COMPETING IN THE PROFESSIONAL MEN’S FIELD ON PATRIOTS’ DAY

BOSTON— A fast and accomplished professional men’s field will take center stage at the 128th Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America, featuring two-time defending open champion Evans Chebet, wheelchair course record holder Marcel Hug, and the world’s fourth-fastest man Sisay Lemma. Marathon winners from around the world and rising stars will compete as part of the Bank of America Professional Athlete Team.

“Record holders on the national and world stage will come together in pursuit of the olive wreath on Patriots’ Day,” said Jack Fleming, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Athletic Association. “The men’s professional field features athletes from 28 countries, and blends a mix of Boston veterans and high-profile debutants. We’re anticipating great competition across the Open, Wheelchair, and Para Athletics Divisions.”

“When this field toes the line in Hopkinton for the start of the 128th Boston Marathon, the eyes of the world will be watching,” said David Tyrie, chief digital officer and chief marketing officer, Bank of America. “This year’s race and its impact on the global community is shaping up to be second to none.”

EVANS CHEBET AIMS FOR THREE-PEAT

Two-time defending champion Evans Chebet made history in 2023, crossing the finish in 2:05:54 to become the first men’s repeat winner since Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot won three-in-a-row between 2006 and 2008. A prolific racer, Chebet has won six of his last seven marathons and knows the Hopkinton-to-Boston route well. A year ago he pressed the pace over the final five kilometers to secure victory.

“Boston has become like a second home to me and running in Boston is always special – returning as reigning champion even more so,” said Chebet. “Even after having run 28 marathons during my career, the chance to race the 29th in Boston and the fans there give me the motivation necessary to prepare to defend my title. I look forward to hitting the streets there this spring and hearing the enthusiastic crowds along the course.”

Sisay Lemma is coming off a memorable win at the Valencia Marathon in 2:01:48, making him the fourth fastest marathoner in history. He was champion of the TCS London Marathon in 2021 and leads a field of 20 men whose personal bests are below 2:10:00.

From Tanzania is 2023 Boston Marathon runner-up and national record holder Gabriel Geay, whose 2:03:00 lifetime best matches that of Chebet. A mainstay on the Boston road racing scene, he’s also won the B.A.A. 10K twice and finished on the podium of the BA.A. Half Marathon twice. Rounding out the men with sub-2:05 lifetime bests are Kenya’s Joshua Belet (2:04:18), Ronald Korir (2:04:22), and Cyprian Kotut (2:04:34), as well as Ethiopians Haftu Teklu (2:04:43) and London and New York City runner-up Shura Kitata (2:04:49).

Adding to the international field is Olympian and former Japanese marathon national record holder Suguru Osako, who has podiumed in Boston, Chicago, and Tokyo; Norwegian Olympic marathoner Sondre Moen; TCS New York City champion Albert Korir, who was fourth place in 2023; and Zouhair Talbi of Morocco who took fifth place in 2023 and won the Houston Marathon in a course record 2:06:39 last week. Edward Cheserek, the 22-time NCAA Champion at Oregon, will make his Boston Marathon debut.

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Representing the USA is B.A.A. High Performance Team member Matt McDonald, a 2:09:49 marathoner. CJ Albertson, the world record holder at 50K (31.07 miles) who led the first 20 miles of the 2021 Boston Marathon, will race two months after competing in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon

“As a member of the B.A.A. who lives and trains in Boston, I can’t imagine spending Patriots’ Day doing anything other than running the Boston Marathon,” said McDonald.

HUG RETURNS AFTER BREAKING COURSE RECORD IN 2023

Marcel Hug re-wrote the record books in 2023, blitzing a course record of 1:17:06 to claim the sixth Boston Marathon Wheelchair Division title of his career. The Swiss sensation and reigning Paralympic marathon gold medalist will seek another win in April.

“The Boston Marathon will be my first Abbott World Marathon Major in this Paralympic year,” said Hug. “To cross the finish line first would not only mean to win an iconic and most historic marathon but also to have a good start into this important season giving a mental boost. That’s why I give extra effort in my preparation to make it happen.”

Hug will go against a pair of Team USA 2024 Paralympians: Daniel Romanchuk and Aaron Pike.  Romanchuk is a two-time Boston Marathon champion (2019 and 2022), while Pike placed a career best second at Boston in 2022.

Dutchman Jetze Plat, third last year, and Canadian Josh Cassidy, a Boston champion, also return, as does 2023 fifth-place finisher Sho Watanabe of Japan.

PARA ATHLETICS DIVISION CHAMPIONS RETURN

A number of Para Athletics Division champions from recent years will compete once again on the roads from Hopkinton and Boston. From Morocco is El Amin Chentouf, the T11/T12 (vision impairment) champion who finished 50th overall in 2:31:35 in 2023. He’ll race Chaz Davis, a 2016 Paralympian and 2:31:48 marathoner originally from Massachusetts.

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Half marathon and 10K world record holder Brian Reynolds will again battle Marko Cheseto Lemtukei for top honors in the T62 (lower limb impairment) classification. Cheseto Lemtukei won last year’s title in 2:50:02.

“The beauty of our diversity is reflected at the start line of Boston marathon, it doesn’t matter what people are missing, what matters is how different abilities are combined together to create a memorable marathon,” said Cheseto Lemtukei.

From Ethiopia is Atsbha Gebre Gebremeskel, the reigning T46 (upper limb impairment) winner in 2:43:57 last year.

BANK OF AMERICA SUPPORTING ALL PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

Boston Marathon presenting partner Bank of America is supporting all top contenders as part of the Bank of America Professional Athlete Team. Athletes in the Open, Wheelchair, and Para Athletics Divisions will be competing for more than $1 million in prize money.

A course record bonus of $50,000 is available for open and wheelchair athletes, and Para Athletics Division prize money will be offered across seven impairment classifications (increased from five in previous years). A complete prize purse breakdown is available here.

128TH BOSTON MARATHON PROFESSIONAL MEN’S FIELDS

MEN’S OPEN DIVISION

COUNTRY

PERSONAL BEST

Sisay Lemma ETH 2:01:48 (Valencia, 2023)
Evans Chebet KEN 2:03:00 (Valencia, 2020)
Gabriel Geay TAN 2:03:00 (Valencia, 2022) NR
Joshua Belet KEN 2:04:18 (Amsterdam, 2023)
Ronald Korir KEN 2:04:22 (Berlin, 2023)
Cyprian Kotut KEN 2:04:34 (Amsterdam, 2023)
Haftu Teklu ETH 2:04:43 (Berlin, 2023)
Shura Kitata ETH 2:04:49 (London, 2018)
John Korir KEN 2:05:01 (Chicago, 2022)
Mohamed Esa ETH 2:05:05 (Amsterdam, 2022)
Suguru Osako JPN 2:05:29 (Tokyo, 2020)
Sondre Moen NOR 2:05:48 (Fukuoka, 2017) AR
Filmon Ande ERI 2:06:38 (Barcelona, 2021)
Zouhair Talbi MAR 2:06:39 (Houston, 2024)
Isaac Mpofu ZIM 2:06:48 (Valencia, 2022) NR
Albert Korir KEN 2:06:57 (New York City, 2023)
Kento Otsu JPN 2:08:15 (Otsu, 2021)
Ryoma Takeuchi JPN 2:08:40 (Hofu, 2023)
Segundo Jami ECU 2:09:05 (Valencia, 2023) NR
Tsegay Tuemay ERI 2:09:07 (Daegu, 2019)
Matt McDonald USA 2:09:49 (Chicago, 2022)
David Nilsson SWE 2:10:09 (Valencia, 2020)
Tristan Woodfine CAN 2:10:39 (Houston, 2024)
CJ Albertson USA 2:10:52 (Duluth, 2022)
Chris Thompson GBR 2:10:52 (London, 2021)
Edward Cheserek KEN 2:11:07 (New York City, 2023)
Nick Hauger USA 2:12:59 (Sacramento, 2021)
Will Nation USA 2:13:24 (Sacramento, 2021)
Joseph Whelan USA 2:13:39 (Duluth, 2019)
Ilie Alexandru Corneschi ROU 2:13:39 (Berlin, 2022)
Patrick Smyth USA 2:13:47 (Sacramento, 2019)
Robert Miranda USA 2:14:43 (Sacramento, 2023)
Kristoffer Mugrage USA 2:15:17 (Sacramento, 2022)
Craig Hunt USA 2:15:29 (Chandler, 2020)
Primoz Kobe SLO 2:15:37 (Rotterdam, 2022)*
Aaron Gruen USA 2:15:56 (Valley Cottage, 2023)
Lorenz Baum GER 2:15:57 (Cologne, 2023)
Taiyo Akiyama JPN 2:16:03 (Tokyo, 2023)
Andrew McCann USA 2:17:07 (Sacramento, 2022)
Matt Rand USA 2:17:11 (Valley Cottage, 2023)
Ryan Eiler USA 2:17:16 (Philadelphia, 2023)
Prescott Leach USA 2:17:30 (Sacramento, 2023)*
Qianyu Cheng CHN 2:17:33 (Hangzhou, 2022)
Jason Ayr USA 2:18:14 (Houston, 2022)
Grant O’Connor USA 2:18:28 (Jersey City, 2023)
Mauricio Mendez Cruz MEX 2:18:36 (Berlin, 2022)
Jared Schatz USA 2:18:49 (Valley Cottage, 2023)
Jonathan Kotter USA 2:19:00 (St. George, 2022)
Brad Kahlefeldt AUS 2:19:30 (Zurich, 2023)*
Miguel Morone BRA 2:19:33 (Berlin, 2023)*
Dustin Bybee USA 2:19:48 (St. George, 2023)*
Giles Rubio FRA 2:20:14 (Valencia, 2022)*
Joel Conn USA 2:20:16 Duluth, 2023)*
Tyler Butterfield BER 2:21:47 (Otsu, 2019)* NR
Miguel Ferrer Muro ESP 2:21:47 (Valencia, 2022)*
Roman Fosti EST 2:22:16 (Tallinn, 2023)*
Meng-Tsung (Steve) Chu TWN 2:22:54 (Edmonton, 2023)*
Yemane Haileselassie ERI Debut
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*Denotes Masters Division (40+)

 

MEN’S WHEELCHAIR DIVISION

COUNTRY

PERSONAL BEST

CLASSIFICATION

Marcel Hug SUI 1:17:06 T54
Aaron Pike USA 1:20:02 T54
Johnboy Smith GBR 1:20:05 T54
Kota Hokinoue JPN 1:20:54 T54
Daniel Romanchuk USA 1:21:36 T54
Rafael Botello Jimenez ESP 1:22:09 T54
Jordi Madera ESP 1:22:10 T54
Patrick Monahan IRL 1:22:23 T53
Sho Watanabe JPN 1:24:00 T54
Hermin Garic USA 1:24:18 T53
Jeyna Senbeta USA 1:24:27 T54
Jetze Plat NED 1:24:28 T54
Simon Lawson GBR 1:25:06 T53
David Weir GBR 1:26:17 T54
Brian Siemann USA 1:26:46 T53
Evan Correll USA 1:27:19 T54
Jason Robinson USA 1:29:01 T54
Phillip Croft USA 1:30:14 T53
Jake Lappin AUS 1:31:17 T54
Sean Frame GBR 1:31:18 T54
Wyatt Willand USA 1:31:50 T53
Jordi Madera ESP 1:22:10 T54
Santiago Sanz ESP 1:42:05 T52
Dustin Stallberg USA 1:44:28 T54
Fidel Aguilar Zepeda MEX 1:45:46 T53
Aidan Gravelle USA 1:48:04 T54
Isaiah Rigo USA 2:14:36 T52

 

PARA ATHLETICS DIVISIONS

COUNTRY

CLASSIFICATION

El Amin Chentouf MAR T12 (Vision Impairment)
Chaz Davis USA T12 (Vision Impairment)
Andrew Thorsen USA T13 (Vision Impairment)
Thomas Cantara USA T20 (Intellectual Impairment)
Marko Cheseto Lemtukei USA T62 (Lower-limb Impairment)
Brian Reynolds USA T62 (Lower-limb Impairment)
Adam Popp USA T63 (Lower-limb Impairment)
Atsbha Gebre Gebremeskel ETH T46 (Upper-limb Impairment)

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