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If all goes according to plan the Boston Marathon will return on October 11, rescheduled from it’s normal April date due to the pandemic, and a competitive women’s elite field will line up alongside some top Americans.
Desiree Linden, who in 2018 became the first U.S. woman in to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years, announced her entry into the race back in April, after running the world’s fastest 50K in Oregon (2:59:54). She’ll race against nine women with lifetime bests under 2:22, including Jordan Hasay, who finished the 2017 Chicago Marathon in 2:20.57. Molly Huddle, who was unable to race the 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June due to an injury, has also announced she’ll race in Boston—her best is 2:26:33 at the 2019 London Marathon.
The last time all three of these top Americans competed against each other was in February 2020 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Linden placed fourth, Hasay was 26th and later said she dealing with a hamstring injury, and Huddle did not finish, struggling on the brutally hilly and windy course in Atlanta.
The international field in Boston includes Yebrgual Melese (2:19:36) of Ethiopia and Mare Dibaba, the two-time Boston podium finisher and 2016 Olympic marathon bronze medalist, also from Ethiopia. Five of the top seven finishers from the 2019 Boston Marathon are returning, including past champions Edna Kiplagat of Kenya; Caroline Rotich, also from Kenya; and Atsede Baysa from Ethiopia. Workenesh Edesa, an Ethiopian whose personal best is 2:20:24, will run her Boston Marathon debut.
Joining the American contingent are Nell Rojas, who won the Twin Cities Marathon in 2019, and Paige Stoner, the Syracuse standout who ran 2:28:43 at the Marathon Project in December.
A full list of the elite field is available here.
Team USA wheelchair Paralympians Susannah Scaroni and Jenna Fesemyer will also compete, joining a professional wheelchair field that includes course record holder Manuela Schär and five-time champion Tatyana McFadden. Among international contenders are Shelly Woods (Great Britain), Margriet van den Broek (Netherlands), and Vanessa de Souza (Brazil).
Officials announced in January that the 2021 Boston Marathon will not take place as planned on April 19, 2021, due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and later said that it would be held on October 11. With six World Marathon Majors scheduled between Sept. 26 and Nov. 7, there will be a 26.2-mile racing bonanza in the fall. Boston has 20,000 people entered into the race (reduced from the typical 30,000) and a virtual option open to 70,000 more runners. COVID-19 safety measures will also be enforced.
“The [Boston Athletic Association] has been working in close coordination with our local, city, and state partners to establish an appropriate field size that will allow for social distancing throughout the course, especially at the start and finish,” said Tom Grilk, president and CEO of the B.A.A., in a written statement.