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Getting to know… the top five female elites to watch at Boston

Who's who of the Boston Marathon? Which athletes should spectators be keeping close watch of as North America's most competitive marathon unfolds tomorrow morning?

Tomorrow morning, some of the world’s most talented women will line up to compete over 42.2K along the streets from Hopkinton through to Boston. The elite women get ready for the gun to go off at 9:32 a.m. sharp. So who’s who of the Boston Marathon? Which athletes should spectators be keeping close watch of as North America’s most competitive marathon unfolds tomorrow morning? Three of the women on the list have cracked the highly sought after 2:20 barrier. Below are the top five women to watch and some fast facts about each athlete. Study up, the clock is ticking down to go time! 

Gladys Cherono

Country: Kenya

PB: 2:19:25 (Berlin, 2015)

Recent Performances: 2016 Ras Al Khaimah International Half-Marathon, 1:07:02, 2nd


Career Notes: Cherono ran and won the 2015 Berlin Marathon where she set her 2:19:25 PB. 

Fun Fact: Gladys Cherono has run only two marathons yet she’s still one of the best of the bunch. She made her debut in Dubai in 2015 where her 2:20:03 was the third fastest debut of all time. 

Edna Kiplagat

Country: Kenya

PB: 2:19:50 (London, 2012)

Recent Performances: 2016 Chicago Marathon, 2:23:28, 2nd

Career Notes: Kiplagat is a two-time World Major Marathon champion. She won the 2010 New York City Marathon and the London Marathon in 2014.

Fun Fact: Kiplagat is the only woman to have defended her gold medal at the IAAF World Championships winning in 2011 and 2013. 

Buzunesh Deba

Country: Ethiopia 

PB: 2:19:59 (Boston, 2014)

Recent Performances: 2016 Boston Marathon, 2:33:56, 7th 

Career Notes: Deba has won nine marathons on U.S. soil. 2010 was her lucky year: she took first place four times. Winning Boston in 2014 is her career highlight 

Fun Fact: Buzunesh Deba holds the Boston course record: 2:19:59. 

Boston Marathon
Atsede Baysa wins the 2016 Boston Marathon. Photo: Michael Doyle.

Atsede Baysa

Country: Ethiopia 

PB: 2:22:03 (Chicago, 2012)

Recent Performances: 2016 Chicago Marathon, 2:28:53, 6th

Career Notes: Baysa is a marathon veteran having run over 25 marathons. Among others, she has won in Chicago, Paris and Boston.

Fun Fact: Baysa was the champion of last year’s Boston Marathon on the 50th anniversary of the first time a woman ran the 42.2K course. On this special year, this Ethiopian elite handed her trophy over to Bobbi Gibb– the woman who ran the marathon in 1966. It was a moment that will forever be associated with her name. 

Photo: Brooks

Desiree Linden

Country: USA 

PB: 2:22:38 (Boston, 2011) 

Recent Performances: 2016 Olympic Marathon, Rio de Janeiro, 2:26:08, 7th

Career Notes: Linden has represented the U.S. twice in the Olympics and won silver in Boston in 2011. She has also finished in the top five in six of the World Marathon Majors including a second place in Chicago. 

Fun Fact: It didn’t take long after running the 2016 Olympic marathon before Linden set her sights on Boston. After she finishes the race, she’s going on a trip to India with her sister. Find out more about Linden in our one-on-one interview featured on our podcast

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