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The Boston Marathon is back to its original programming. On Monday, April 18. The third Monday in April. Patriots’ Day. Marathon Monday. Finally, space and time are beginning to make sense again after the pandemic upended the rhythm of our running lives.
If it feels like you just watched the Boston Marathon, though, you aren’t wrong. The rescheduled 2021 race was on October 11, just six months ago. It was a Kenyan podium sweep: Diana Kipyokei won in 2:24:45, Edna Kiplagat was second, and Mary Ngugi was third. Kiplagat and Ngugi are back on Monday, as is the 2021 top-placing American, Nell Rojas, who was sixth in 2:27:12.
The 2022 Boston Marathon, marking the 50th anniversary of the first official women’s field at the race, has plenty of compelling storylines to offer—read on for a few favorites that Women’s Running will follow. Fans who aren’t lining the course from Hopkinton to Copley Square need not feel left out. Here’s how to watch (the women’s pro field takes off at 9:45 a.m. Eastern).
Three Ways to Watch the 2022 Boston Marathon
- The USA Network and the NBC Sports App will broadcast and stream the race from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern.
- For locals, CBS Boston WBZ-TV will carry live race coverage from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Women’s Running will provide on-the-ground coverage from Boston on Twitter during the race and recaps on our website.
What We’re Looking Forward To
These are the runners we’ll be watching this year.
Peres Jepchirchir vs. Joyciline Jepkosgei
We’re not discounting the rest of the competitors, but the two Kenyans come in with the most stellar credentials. Jepchirchir, 28, is the 2021 Olympic marathon gold medalist with a personal best of 2:17:16, set at the 2020 Valencia Marathon (the fastest in the field). She followed her Olympic performance by winning the 2021 New York City Marathon in November. Jepkosgei, 29, ran 2:17:43 to win the 2021 London Marathon and was runner-up to Jepchirchir in Valencia. In 2019, Jepkosgei won the New York City Marathon.
Jepchirchir may have a slight edge, but we predict that it will be a duel between the two until late in the race, hopefully making for another exciting battle down Boylston Street.
Edna Kiplagat’s Return
Kiplagat, a two-time world champion, gets her own callout because as accomplished as she is, she just keeps going. At 42 years old and 26 years deep into her career, she’s still making podiums at World Marathon Majors, so why would she stop now? Kiplagat, a mother of five children, who represents Kenya and lives in Longmont, Colorado, won the 2017 Boston Marathon and placed second in 2019 and 2021. In fact she has 10 top-three finishes from the Tokyo, New York City, London, and Boston marathons. She told Olympics.com she’s aiming for another big performance on Monday. We don’t count her out—experience on the notoriously hilly Boston Marathon course counts for a lot, and she’s got a lot of it.
Molly Seidel’s Boston Debut—and Homecoming
Some of the most exciting female athletes on the American scene are scheduled to compete, too. And while their PRs might not match up against the tough international field, times aren’t an automatic indicator of success in Boston. It tends to unfold in a championship-style fashion, throwing even splits out the window—and those who are unfamiliar with the course can suffer the consequences of quad-shredding early downhills followed by those Newton rollers in the second half. It’s what makes the Boston Marathon so fun to watch.
Nobody has a more proven ability to thrive in the championship environment than Seidel, 27, who will race on Monday. In her debut marathon she placed second at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials to make Team USA—which was run on a grueling, hilly course on a windy day. She went to the Tokyo Games as an underdog and came home with a bronze medal, managing the 85-degrees and 75 percent humidity that day better than (almost) anybody else. Then she turned around and set the American course record at the 2021 New York City Marathon (her personal best, 2:24:42), despite racing with broken ribs.
Boston will feel familiar to Seidel, too: She lived there for several years before relocating to Flagstaff, Arizona, after graduating from Notre Dame as she started her running career (while holding down jobs as a barista and nanny).
Des Linden’s No. 9.
Speaking of experience on the course, few are more familiar with its every inch than Linden, who placed second there (by two seconds in a thrilling sprint finish) in 2011 in her fastest marathon ever, 2:22:38. Oh, and she won the damn thing in 2018, enduring the historic deluge for her first major victory. She says her training was a little slow to come around this time, but Linden, 38, always puts herself in the mix at this stage of her career, to see what she can do. And it’s always fun to watch—she’s a fan favorite, especially in Boston, where she’s welcomed like a hometown hero no matter how her race is going.
Stephanie Bruce’s Boston Finale
Bruce, 38, announced in January that she’ll step away from professional competition after this year and invited fans to join her on what she’s calling the “Grit Finale.” The last time she competed in Boston was 2013, the year of the bombing. This time she’s posted on her social media that she’s put in some of the best preparation of her career and is hoping to showcase it in her last crack at the course. She placed sixth at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and has four top-10 finishes at the World Marathon Majors. Never underestimate what an athlete can do when she knows it’s now or never—look for something special from Bruce on Monday.
The Para Athletics Race
For the second time, the Boston Marathon has a Para Athletics Division for ambulatory athletes competing for their own prize purse ($1,500 for first place, $750 for second, and $500 for third). No other World Marathon Major has a separate division for runners with limb or vision impairments. In September, Liz Willis, whose left leg was amputated due to pregnancy complications 10 years ago, won in the inaugural event. This year’s field includes Jacky Hunt-Broersma, who will be running her 92nd marathon in 92 days on Monday. She’s attempting to run 102 marathons in 102 days to set a new world record. Also lining up is Adrianne Haslet, a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, where she lost her left leg. Haslet will run with Shalane Flanagan, 2017 New York City Marathon champion. The Para Athlete race goes off at 9:50 a.m.