Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele is heading to the Boston Marathon for the first time this April, headlining the fastest men’s elite field in Boston Marathon history, featuring 12 men who have run under 2:05:00. The former 5,000 and 10,000m world record holder will be challenged by seven of the last eight Boston Marathon champions, which include 2021 champ Benson Kipruto, Lawerence Cherono (2019) and his compatriot Lelisa Desisa (2013 and 2015).
Bekele is the fastest man to ever toe the line in Hopkinton. His 2:01:41, which is the Ethiopian national record, ranks as the second-fastest marathon in history, two seconds shy of Eliud Kipchoge’s world record (2:01:39). Bekele is also a three-time Olympic gold medallist in the 5,000m and 10,000m. His most recent result was a third-place finish at the 2021 Berlin Marathon in September.
The fastest marathoner in the world last year, Kenya’s Titus Ekiru, will also make his Boston debut. In May of 2021, Ekiru ran 2:02:57 to win the Milan Marathon. He most recently picked up a win at the Abu Dhabi Marathon in U.A.E. (2:06:13). Besides his DNF at the Tokyo Marathon in 2020, Ekiru hasn’t run a time slower than 2:10:00 since 2018.
Among the favourites is Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu, who won in 2016 and finished second to Kipruto last year; Evans Chebet, who was the world leader for the marathon in 2020 (2:03:00); Albert Korir, the defending TCS New York City Marathon champion; and Geoffrey Kamworor, who has won in New York twice and is a three-time world half marathon champion.
Massachusetts native Colin Bennie, who was the top American finisher in 2021 leads the American contingent, joined by Scott Fauble, CJ Albertson and U.S. Olympian Jared Ward.
2019 Canadian Marathon champion and Tokyo Olympian Trevor Hofbauer returns to the marathon scene after finishing 48th at the Olympic Games (2:19:57). Hofbauer became the second-fastest marathoner in Canadian history when he ran 2:09:51 at the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. He is the sole Canadian man on the Boston elite list this year.
The Boston Marathon will be returning to its signature Patriots’ Day date in 2022 for the first time in three years. You can check out the full men’s elite list here.