Galen Rupp

Photo: Michael Doyle.

Speculation around this year’s Boston Marathon, with the men’s elites taking off from Hopkinton at 10 a.m. Monday, are whether last year’s second-place finisher Galen Rupp will actually win this year. Here’s a look at Rupp and the men he has to beat: 

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Last year Galen Rupp, 32, was beaten at Boston by Kenyan Geoffrey Kirui, 25, who is also returning this year. Rupp went on to win the Chicago marathon in September, the first American man to do so since 2002. He also set a PB with a time of 2:09:20. It’s not the fastest PB in the field, by a long shot, but his chances are considered good nonetheless, also taking into account his bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Kirui won the world championships in August, edging past Ethiopian Tamirat Tola at the 30K mark to finish in 2:08:27. 

Tola may well be the name on everyone’s lips after Monday. Not only does he have the fastest PB of all the elites (2:04:06), but he has an impressive list of accomplishments that include an 2016 Olympic bronze medal in the 10K (Rupp won bronze), and a win at the Dubai Marathon in 2017, besides placing second at the world championships last year. However, past winners Lemi Berhanu (2016) and Lelisa Desisa (2013 and 2015), both of Ethiopia, are also returning to Boston on Monday.

Norbert Kigen of Kenya is coming off a second-place finish at the TCS Amsterdam marathon in October, with a time of 2:05:13.

Abdi Abdirahman of the U.S. finished sixth at Boston last year and third at New York in 2016. 

Shadrack Biwott was fourth at Boston in 2017. 

Meb Keflezighi announced recently that he will participate as a charity runner with the Martin Richard Foundation. (Richard was the eight-year-old boy who was killed in the Boston marathon bombings of 2013.) Keflezighi retired from professional running after last year’s New York marathon.

American Dathan Ritzenhein announced this week that he is injured and will not be competing at Boston after all.



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