B.A.A Boston Marathon 2019 Preview

It’s nearly here, the 123rd running of the Boston Marathon and the 5th race in the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII takes place on Monday 5th April 2019.

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The start times are as follows:

Boston-Marathon-2019.jpg
  • Men’s Wheelchair: 9:02 a.m. (14:02 BST)

  • Women’s Wheelchair: 9:04 a.m.

  • Handcycles & Duo Participants: 9:25 a.m.

  • Elite Women: 9:32 a.m. (14:32 BST)

  • Elite Men: 10:00 a.m. (15:00 BST)

  • Wave One: 10:02 a.m.

  • Wave Two: 10:25 a.m.

  • Wave Three: 10:50 a.m.

  • Wave Four: 11:15 a.m.

If you want to watch it, and you should, a list of international broadcasters can be found here. Whilst it hasn’t been officially announced yet, it’s likely that in the UK the BBC will stream international coverage of it on their Red Button and at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/. Shalane Flanagan will cover the race with the WBZ-TV team so I’m desperately hoping that the BBC’s coverage comes via them.

If you want a great preview to listen to, check out House of Run’s podcast. It’s informative and hilarious because of the way that the idea of Degefa as a winner is mocked because of her Dubai-only marathon history.

I’ve put together my usual spreadsheet of joy here which has the full data on each elite runner : PB, PB year, PB location, Age, IAAF link, social media links, brief comments. Check it out and share away! (Shalane Flanagan, you’re welcome). I’ll update it afterwards comparing results to pre-race rankings and PBs.

Here’s a few to pull out at random (read the spreadsheet people!)

Jordan Hasay
PB 2:20:57 (Chicago, 2017)

After showing promise in her first two marathons (3rd in Boston in 2017) she taunted us by pulling out the night before Boston last year (fair enough in the circumstances - a stress reaction in her heel which caused her to also pull out of Chicago ). However, if she's fit and injury free she'll be exciting to watch. I don't think she'll have the cameraderie with Des that Flanagan did last year when they worked together for some of the race. Des has spoken in the paast about how she doesn' hang with the young buck that much. Ironically Hasay spoke to Runners World about feeling old here https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a27086411/jordan-hasay-heads-to-boston-healthy/

Hasay.JPG

Sarah Sellers
PB 2:36:37 NY 2018

Last year's most interviewed runner at Boston perhaps? The nurse who sort of came from nowhere to come 2nd os back for more and to show that it wasn't a fluke. Sarah has been training hard as always and ran a small PR at New York Half recently. I'll be excited to see how she goes. She says herself that last year she felt like an imposter on the start line. This year she's legit. She bumped into 2015 winner Caronline Rotich the other day!

sarah sellers and caroline rotich.JPG

Betsy Saina
PB 2:26:57 Paris 2018

Betsy Saina.JPG

PB was set winning the Paris marathon last year. It's on the day before Boston though so she isn't returning to defend her title.Says on insta "Made it safe to Boston, as for now it’s time to go check the course, been debating but I think it’s good to look that way I will not be lost not knowing where the race is heading" (I'm pretty sure others will have scouted the course plenty!

Worknesh Degefa
PB 2:17:41 Dubai 2019

degefa.jpg

4th fastest woman of all time and currently ranked 11th in the world at the marathon. She has only ever run a marathon in Dubai... which is somewhat different to Boston! But she's fast, in fact she started the year 4rh fastest on the Boston start line but leaped to the top when she ran 2:17 in Dubai in January

Dixon

Dixon


Aly Dixon
PB 2:29:06, London 2017

Self coached, she is the only GB elite for some time to attempt Boston so I'm very excited by this. Aly has had injury issues over the last year and a bit and had to pull out of the world marathon champs in Berlin last year but it seems like the extra strength and variety of training required for Boston has suited her well as she ran her second fastest 10k last weekend. 6th at the Commonwealth Games last year

Eva Vrabcova
PB 2:26:31 Berlin 2018
Also an olympic cross country skiier, she finished 3rd in the 2018 European Athletics Championships, in Berlin in 2018. However, she ran 7 mins slower than her PB in the New York Half this year



And then of course let’s just leave this awesome lady right here…

des boston.jpg

LetsRun.com preview is here

Flotrack’s live streaming link (paid) and previews are here

A reminder of last year’s top 10 is here only Linden (1st), Sellers (2nd), Duchene (3rd) and Kiplagat (9th) from this year’s elite list feature in last year’s top 10.

Rank going into raceNAMEAgeCountryPBLocation of PBYear of PBIAAF profileTwitterInstagramInfo
1Worknesh Degefa28ETH2:17:41Dubai2019https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/ethiopia/worknesh-degefa-278309  4th fastest woman of all time and currently ranked 11th in the world at the marathon. She has only ever run a marathon in Dubai... which is somewhat different to Boston! But she's fast, in fact she started the year 4rh fastest on the Boston start line but leaped to the top when she ran 2:17 in Dubai in January
2Aselefech Mergia34ETH2:19:31Dubai2012https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/ethiopia/aselefech-mergia-234931  She was retrospectively confirmed as the winner of the 2010 London Marathon after the top two were disqualified
3Edna Kiplagat39KEN2:19:50London2012https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/kenya/edna-ngeringwony-kiplagat-115480  Ran last year and placed 9th in 2:24:17. Ran 2:21 in Berlin in the autumn last year too. The only others from this elite list to make the top 10 last year were Des Linden, Sarah Sellers and Krista Duchene
4Mare Dibaba29ETH2:19:52Dubai2012https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/ethiopia/mare-dibaba-240864  Doesn't seem on great form - 11th in Frankfurt last autumn (2:25) and 2:28 in London in 2017. Her last half in Glasgow in 2018 wasn't near her best either
5Meskerem Assefa33ETH2:20:36Frankfurt2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/ethiopia/meskerem-assefa-184494  With on of the more recent PBs and some marathon wins recently includinf that Frankfurt PB where she set a course record.
6Jordan Hasay27USA2:20:57 (Chicago, 2017)Chicago2017https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/united-states/jordan-hasay-219561https://twitter.com/JordanHasayhttps://www.instagram.com/jordanhasayAfter showing promise in her first two marathons (3rd in Boston in 2017) she taunted us by pulling out the night before Boston last year (fair enough in the circumstances - a stress reaction in her heel which caused her to also pull out of Chicago ). However, if she's fit and injury free she'll be exciting to watch. I don't think she'll have the cameraderie with Des that Flanagan did last year when they worked together for some of the race. Des has spoken in the paast about how she doesn' hang with the young buck that much. Ironically Hasay spoke to Runners World about feeling old here https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a27086411/jordan-hasay-heads-to-boston-healthy/
7Belaynesh Oljira28ETH2:21:53 (Frankfurt, 2018)Frankfurt2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/ethiopia/belaynesh-oljira-249355  Got back to marathoning after a 4 year break, running 2:21 in frankfurt last autumn
8Sharon Cherop35KEN2:22:28 (Berlin, 2013)Berlin2013https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/kenya/sharon-jemutai-cherop-173335  LetsRun notes: 3 top-3s in Boston, but none since '13. Ran 2:25 in Slovenia last autumn
9Desiree Linden35USA2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)Boston2011https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/united-states/desiree-linden-228004https://twitter.com/des_lindenhttps://www.instagram.com/des_linden/?hl=enWhat can we say? I'm sure you've read it all. She won Boston in those horrific conditions. Since then she's changed coach, placed 6th in a good field at NY half and had the year of her life. I'd LOVE her to win in good conditions. It is however unusual for Boston winners to make a repeat performance.
10Marta Megra29ETH2:22:35 (Toronto, 2018)Toronto2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/ethiopia/marta-lema-278982  PB was set defending the Toronto Waterfront marathon. She came second but set the PB behind a course record
11Betsy Saina30Kenya2:22:56 (Paris, 2018)Paris2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/kenya/betsy-saina-257202 https://www.instagram.com/sainabetsyPB was set winning the Paris marathon last year. It's on the day before Boston though so she isn't returning to defend her title.Says on insta "Made it safe to Boston, as for now it's time to go check the course, been debating but I think it's good to look that way I will not be lost not knowing where the race is heading" (I'm pretty sure others will have scouted the course plenty!
12Caroline Rotich34KEN2:23:22 (Chicago, 2012)Chicago2012https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/kenya/caroline-rotich-250396https://twitter.com/ccrotich?lang=en Won Boston in 2015 when the weather was "Rain; winds gusting up to 15 mph; temperatures in the mid 40s" according to the 'noteable weather' section of the BAA website.
13Sara Hall35USA2:26:20 (Ottawa, 2018)Ottowa2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/united-states/sara-hall-188211https://twitter.com/SaraHall3https://www.instagram.com/sarahall3/?Coached by her husband, she has a recent PB which is a good sign. She has had some injury issues though and comments on twitter "Days have been ticking by slowly as this is the longest stretch I've ever gone w/out racing. I'm trying to bottle up all my competitive energy— can't wait to pop the cork on Patriot's Day!"
14Eva Vrabcova33CZH2:26:31 (Berlin, 2018) NRBerlin2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/czech-republic/eva-vrabcova-nyvltova-304200 https://www.instagram.com/evavrabcovanyvltovaAlso an olympic cross country skiier, she finished 3rd in the 2018 European Athletics Championships, in Berlin in 2018. However, she ran 7 mins slower than her PB in the New York Half this year
15Sally Kipyego34USA2:28:01 (New York City, 2016)New York2016https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/kenya/sally-jepkosgei-kipyego-182005https://twitter.com/sallykipyego?lang=enhttps://www.instagram.com/sallykipyego/Trains with Nike Oregon project, Kenyan born, won silver in the 10000m at London 2012. Came second in the NY half in 2016 but hasn't raced much since. LetsRun.com say she's a tantelising prospect though. Married to Kevin Chelimo who is a middle and long distance runer
16Krista Duchene42CAN2:28:32 (Toronto, 2013)Toronto2013https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/canada/krista-duchene-257044https://twitter.com/kristaduchenehttps://www.instagram.com/kristaducheneFinished 3rd at Boston last year. Saucony athlete. Read her interview with Running Canada here https://runningmagazine.ca/the-scene/krista-duchene-on-boston-her-marathon-build-and-goals-for-2019/ She won $40,000 USD prize money and talks openly about needing the cash for her child's education
17Alyson Dixon40GB2:29:06London2017https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/athlete=245966https://twitter.com/alydixon262https://www.instagram.com/alydixon/Self coached, she is the only GB elite for some time to attempt Boston so I'm very excited by this. Aly has had injury issues over the last year and a bit and had to pull out of the world marathon champs in Berlin last year but it seems like the extra strength and variety of training required for Boston has suited her well as she ran her second fastest 10k last weekend. 6th at the Commonwealth Games last year
18Lindsay Flanagan28USA2:29:25Frankfurt2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/united-states/lindsay-flanagan-270404https://twitter.com/lflanagan242https://www.instagram.com/lflanagan2/From Boulder, colorado with a recent B and 13th place in Frankfurt and on the younger end of the field.
19Becky Wade30USA2:30:41Sacramento2013https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/united-states/rebecca-wade-241305https://twitter.com/bexwade89https://www.instagram.com/lflanagan2/Based in Boulder, colorado. Author of Run the World which is about running through different cultures to learn about them. She ran steeplechase and made it to the Olympic Trials in 2012 and 2016, and won her first marathon in 2:30:41. This is her first Boston
20Sarah Crouch29USA2:32:27Chicago2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/united-states/sarah-crouch-261995https://twitter.com/sarahcrouch89https://www.instagram.com/sarahcrouch1989"Last year was quite the year for Sarah, having a benign tumour removed from her qud before going on to set her marathon PB in Chicago. She's qualified for the olyumpic trield in the past and I image will be looking to again. She has run Boston once before in 2016 when she came 11th in 2:37:36
"
21Sarah Sellers27USA2:36:37New York2018https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/united-states/sarah-sellers-256217https://twitter.com/sarahwhosellershttps://www.instagram.com/sarah_sellersLast year's most interviewed runner at Boston perhaps? The nurse who sort of came from nowhere to come 2nd os back for more and to show that it wasn't a fluke. Sarah has been training hard as always and ran a small PR at New York Half recently. I'll be excited to see how she goes. She says herself that last year she felt like an imposter on the start line. This year she's legit. She bumped into 2015 winner Caronline Rotich the other day!
22Mary Wacera30KEN66:29 (half)Houston 2016https://www.iaaf.org/athletes/kenya/mary-wacera-ngugi-227178 https://www.instagram.com/maryngugi/Nike athlete, World Champs Silver Medalist at the half. Her half PB is an American-soil half marathon record. She's run the 10k at Boston before but this is her first full marathon. She is the widow of Samuel Wanjiru, the 2008 Olympic champion in the marathon, and had a daughter with him in 2010.