The world’s oldest annual marathon event will go down later Monday with the Boston race set to kick off the 2019 World Marathon Majors season.
World champion Geoffrey Kirui will lead the Kenyan charge as he seeks to reclaim his title having lost out to Yuki Kawauchi of Japan last year.
Kirui told Citizen Digital from Boston that he is ready for the battle although he noted the tough competition that awaits from his compatriots as well as other internationals.
“I thank God for journey mercies he is given us. We as Kenyans are doing good here and we are just relaxing waiting for the race later on,” Kirui said.
Having surrendered a big lead last year due to heavy downpour, Kirui is however fired up to reclaim his crown although the conditions are once again expected to be tough as well.
“It is rainy here and we have already been told to expect the same in the course of the race and I pray to God to give us strength because when you look at the start list the race won’t be easy,” he said.
Today’s race is also expected to be as competitive with five of the last six men to win the Boston Marathon in the line-up.
Defending champion Kawauchi who clocked 2:15:58 to win last year’s race cannot be dismissed either as is the New York City marathon champion and two-time champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia.
Other Kenyans in contention are the 2012 champion Wesly Korir, two-time Amsterdam marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, Felix Kandie, Festus Talam and Philemon Rono.
Rotterdam Marathon champion Kenneth Kipkemoi and two-time Toronto marathon champion Benson Kipruto will be making their debuts.
In the women’s front two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat – the 2017 champion will once again square off with the defending champion Desiree Linden.
Others in the mix are the 2012 champion Sharon Cherop and the 2015 champion Caroline Rotich who will be returning to the Hopkinton for another try.
Similarly, Paris marathon champion Betsy Saina and Mary Wacera who will be making her maiden appearance are other Kenyans in the race.
The race is scheduled to start at 4pm Kenyan time.
Elite men start list (Kenyans)