The Boston Athletic Association announced today that its four defending champions will return to race the 2019 Boston Marathon.

The Boston Athletic Association announced today that the Boston Marathon’s four defending champions—Desiree LindenYuki Kawauchi, Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug—will all return to race again in 2019.

This will be the seventh time Linden will tackle the race. Since her debut on the course in 2007, she has finished in the top 10 five times, placing second by two seconds in 2011 and finally claiming the crown earlier this year. “In 2007, I ran my first Boston Marathon; I absolutely fell in love with the event, the course, the city, all of it,” Linden said in an official press release. “I thought I had every experience imaginable racing in Boston, but in 2019 I’m thrilled and proud to have another first as I’ll start the race as the defending Boston Marathon Champion.”

In the women’s wheelchair division, McFadden has a similarly storied history: She’s won the Boston Marathon four times (in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018) and has also scored victories in three other World Marathon Majors races (the London, Chicago and New York City marathons). Despite all her victories, McFadden still finds inspiration and challenges waiting for her along the Boston route. “I love the course and the community support,” McFadden said in an official press release. “The course is very technical and the elite women’s division continues to grow and get better every year.”

Both the men’s open and men’s wheelchair defending champions will join Linden and McFadden in protecting their own recent victories. “At Boston this year, Desiree Linden, Yuki Kawauchi, Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug proved freezing rain and driving wind were no match for the opportunity to be crowned Boston Marathon champions,” John Hancock Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Goose said in an official press release. “Their perseverance and tenacity led the way for thousands of runners to realize their own dreams. We look forward to welcoming back our champions as well as all participants and spectators for another historic race on Patriots’ Day.”

The Boston Marathon will celebrate its 123rd running on April 15, 2019. Follow along on Women’s Running’News page in the weeks and months ahead as we begin our official coverage of the 2019 Boston Marathon.