•The 125th edition of the marathon will be held only 24 hours after the Chicago Marathon
•Two-time champion Edna Kiplangat will battle with an Ethiopian contingent comprising Mare Dibaba and Netsanet Gudeta
•In the men's race, Leonard Barsoton will be targeting a podium finish on his debut in the full marathon
Former world marathon champion Edna Kiplangat, former Africa Cross Country champion Leonard Barsoton and 2007 Africa Junior 5,000m champion Mary Ngugi will be seeking to extend Kenya's bright fortunes at the World Majors Marathon this year during Monday's Boston Marathon.
The 125th edition of the marathon will be held only 24 hours after the Chicago Marathon, where world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich will lead a Kenyan assault.
Kiplangat, the 2017 Boston Marathon, is elated at the chance to compete at the event, promising to give her all in pursuit of a podium place in Boston.
"I am grateful to be part of this year's 125th Boston Marathon. I am looking forward to competing with the past champion. As always, I will work hard and do my best. Thank you for the opportunity," Kiplangat said.
If she puts in the kind of performance which saw her clinch two world marathon titles in 2011 and 2013, athletics fans will be in for a treat as she goes toe-to-toe with an Ethiopian contingent comprising 2015 world marathon champion Mare Dibaba and 2018 world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta.
For company, Kiplangat will be joined by fellow countrywomen including 2014 Tokyo Marathon champion Helah Kiprop, Diana Chemtai, Purity Changwony, Monicah Ngige and Ngugi.
Ngugi has been working hard in preparation for what she describes as the 'final stretch of the hardest year.' She is hopeful of a good result in a city that has always been kind to her.
"This is a city that has been so good to me over the years in the 10kms and half marathons. I can’t wait to be back soon. I’m focused on the marathon and trying to take one day to the next," she said.
Ngugi, who made her Boston Marathon debut in 2019, added: "Having no races is one thing, having my family split between two continents is another — especially during these difficult travel times."
In the men's race, Barsoton is optimistic of a positive result despite Boston heralding his debut in the full marathon.
However, he will have to churn out a five-star performance considering the calibre of competitors he will be up against.
Ethiopian Lelisa Delisa will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of titles in Boston following his previous wins in 2013 and 2015.
Three-time Amsterdam Marathon champion Wilson Chebet will also be seeking to exorcise the ghosts of the 2018 Boston Marathon when he dropped out midway through the race.
"That experience was so bad not just for me but the majority of Kenyans athletes where some finished in an ambulance. No athlete will want to compete in such weather. I hope this time, the weather will be great and favourable for us to run well," Mr Amsterdam, as he is known, said.
His compatriot Barsoton believes he is more than equipped to cause an upset.
"It is not all about big names at the starting line-up but the level of preparedness. I have been training and I am hopeful my hard work will reap dividends," he said.
With approximately 20,000 participants expected, the world's oldest marathon was always going to attract such a bumper entry after it was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There will also be a virtual race for those who may be unable to compete in-person.
The men and women's course record for the marathon is held by Geoffrey Mutai (2:03:02) and Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba (2:19:59) who clocked the times in 2011 and 2014 respectively.