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November 20, 2018

Former Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich returns as more athletes enroll for the race

Caroline Rotich during the 2015 Boston Marathon/COURTESY
Caroline Rotich during the 2015 Boston Marathon/COURTESY

Former Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich has been added to the list ahead of the event slated for April 18.

She will be joined by Gladys Chesir, who makes her Boston debut after finishing runner-up in Amsterdam last year. With a half marathon personal best of 1:06:57, Chesir could be in the chase for the title.

Compatriots Norbert Kigen, Evans Chebet, Felix Kandie and Philemon Rono—all of whom set life time bests last year—will be making their Boston Marathon debuts in the men’s category.

Three-time Amsterdam Marathon winner Wilson Chebet will be making his fifth appearance in Boston. The Kenyan, who has a best of 2:05:27, finished fifth in Boston last year but has twice made it on to the podium, placing second in 2014 and third in 2015.Ten of the athletes in the women’s elite field have PBs faster than 2:23, including Olympic silver medallist Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain and three-time Dubai Marathon winner Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia. Course record-holder Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia will return to the scene of her 2014 triumph, while two-time Frankfurt Marathon winner Mamitu Daska will be making her third appearance in Boston.

National record-holders Kellys Arias of Colombia and Madai Perez of Mexico are also in the field, as is Krista Duchene, the second-fastest Canadian marathon runner in history, and 2010 European cross-country champion Jessica Augusto of Portugal.

It was announced last month that defending champions Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat would face a strong domestic line-up that includes Olympic bronze medallist Galen Rupp and New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan. World marathon silver medallist and Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Tamirat Tola is the fastest in the field. The Ethiopian won last year’s Dubai Marathon in a personal best of 2:04:11 before going on to finish second to Kirui at the World Championships in London.

Two-time Boston Marathon champion and 2013 world silver medallist Lelisa Desisa and 2016 Boston Marathon winner Lemi Berhanu are also in the men’s field. The Ethiopian duo, both of whom have sub-2:05 PBs, recently finished third and fourth respectively at last year’s New York City Marathon.

The field also includes Abdi Nageeye, who set a Dutch Marathon record of 2:08:16 in Amsterdam last year, and Canadian Olympians Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis. Coolsaet is the second-fastest Canadian marathon runner of all time, while Gillis finished 10th in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

German record-holder Arne Gabius, South African Olympian Lusapho April and Japanese runners Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto will also be in Boston. Prolific racer Kawauchi finished ninth at the 2017 World Championships while Nakamoto was sixth at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Elkanah Kibet, the top US finisher in the marathon at the 2017 World Championships, and US Marathon champion Timothy Ritchie have also been added to the field.

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