Historic lineup to include Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, 2022 World Athletics Marathon gold medalist Gotytom Gebreslase, defending Boston Marathon champion Evans Chebet plus five additional Boston winners.
BOSTON—The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) proudly announced today that marathon world record holder and double Olympic marathon gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge, as well as reigning World Athletics Marathon champion Gotytom Gebreslase, will each make their Boston Marathon debuts in April, joining six distinguished Boston Marathon champions on the starting line of the 127th Boston Marathon. Among the Boston Marathon champions set to race are reigning winner Evans Chebet of Kenya and Des Linden, the most recent American open division champion.
The 127th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 17, 2023 – Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts—and will feature 30,000 participants.
“The B.A.A. is bringing the world’s best to Boston to compete on the renowned 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston,” said Mary Kate Shea, B.A.A. Director of Professional Athletes & Technical Support. “World record holder and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, World Champion Gotytom Gebreslase and six Boston Marathon winners will challenge themselves, each other and a deep field of accomplished athletes on our sport’s famed stage.”
Defending Boston Marathon champion Chebet, 2021 winner Benson Kipruto, and two-time victor Lelisa Desisa (2013 and 2015) will be part of an historically deep men’s open division. Among the returning champions in the women’s field are Linden (2018), Edna Kiplagat (2017) and Atsede Baysa (2016).
As the fastest marathoner in history, Kipchoge will take on the challenging Boston Marathon course with hopes of earning his eleventh win at an Abbott World Marathon Majors event. Kipchoge’s last marathon resulted in a new world record when he timed 2:01:09 for the win at September’s Berlin Marathon. Kipchoge’s lifetime best is 1:59:40, run at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge exhibition event in 2019 where he became the first man ever to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours. The 38-year-old looks to become the only man in history to have established a marathon world record, won two Olympic marathon gold medals, and break the tape first in Boston over the span of their career.
“I am happy to announce in April I will compete in the Boston Marathon, a new chapter in my Abbott World Marathon Majors journey,” said Kipchoge. “Good luck to all the runners running Boston in 2023.”
Joining Kipchoge among the contingent from Kenya is Evans Chebet, who stormed to a 2:06:51 win at April’s Boston Marathon then ran to victory at the TCS New York City Marathon in November. In 2022, Chebet became just the sixth man in history to win the Boston and New York City Marathons in the same year.
“To be a champion in Boston is something very special and for me it has even more meaning because it took me quite some time during my career to be competitive enough to finally win the oldest marathon in the world,” said Chebet. “I can’t wait to be back and to enjoy the great atmosphere of such a unique and historical race!”
Chebet’s training partner, Benson Kipruto, also returns; he won the 2022 Chicago Marathon in addition to claiming Boston in October of 2021.
“Boston is more than simply a place for me to race,” said Kipruto. “It has become so familiar to me that just the idea of making the journey there once again gets me kind of emotional. Even now, in these months to come, I promise to concentrate and dedicate my time and training to be at my best and to ensure that I will honor this special opportunity, once again. Thank you Boston for having me back!”
Desisa enters Boston with vital experience, having placed in the top-two four times at the Boston Marathon (wins in 2013 and 2015 and second-place finishes in 2016 and 2019). April marks the ten-year anniversary of his victory in 2013, one in which he donated his champion’s medal back to the City of Boston in recognition of the tragedy of April 15, 2013.
“There is no one in athletics who will be more focused than me this spring in racing, as I look to once again win the Boston Marathon,” said Desisa. “Ten years since my first victory – I understand what this anniversary means and I would love nothing more than to put my name into the history of the race again. I stand with the people of Boston and I will be running the race of my life for you all. We are Boston Strong!”
While this will be Gotytom Gebreslase’s first Boston Marathon, it is far from her first time racing in Boston. The Ethiopian world champion has finished runner-up at the B.A.A. Half Marathon twice and has placed in the top-five three times at the B.A.A. 5K on Patriots’ Day weekend. Beyond winning a world title in 2022, Gebreslase placed third at both the Berlin Marathon and New York City Marathons this year.
“I am very happy to compete in the Boston Marathon 2023, as Boston is one of the most famous races in the world,” said Gebreslase. “It has long been a dream of mine to win the race. When I was a young track athlete, I raced many time in Boston in indoor races and then on the roads in the B.A.A. 5K. So, I am very excited and happy to bring my career full circle and come back to Boston now as the World Champion with a chance to add the Boston Marathon Champion to my resume! See you on the start line!”
Representing America is Linden, racing in her tenth Boston Marathon. April’s race will mark the five-year anniversary of her memorable 2018 victory in the torrential rain, when she ended a 33-year American women’s drought in the open division. Linden has five top-five finishes, a win and a runner-up placing to her name in Boston.
“I’m excited about where my fitness is relative to last year,” said Linden. “Now it’s time to get the result to validate the work. I look forward to returning to the Boston Marathon, getting on the course I know and love, gaining momentum from the best fans in the sport, and recapturing some magic from the greatest marathon in the world.”
Edna Kiplagat set a new Masters Division record en route to finishing fourth at the 2022 Boston Marathon in 2:21:40, and shows no signs of stopping. Kiplagat plans to return and contend at the age of 43; she won the 2017 Boston Marathon in 2:21:52 and crossed the line second at both the 2019 and 2021 editions of the race.
Atsede Baysa rounds out the women’s open division returning champions. After finishing eighth at last year’s Boston Marathon, Baysa placed fifth at the Houston Marathon and looks to return with high hopes of another podium in 2023.
“Each year, the B.A.A. prides itself on bringing the best runners in the world together to battle on the famed course from Hopkinton to Boston,” said Jack Fleming, President and Chief Executive Officer of the B.A.A. “History and heritage are two cornerstones of the Boston Marathon. This year’s race brings those elements to the forefront as world record holder and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge and six Boston Marathon champions battle on Patriots’ Day. The world will be watching Boston with great anticipation to see how the competition plays out.”
The complete 127th Boston Marathon professional field –including additional Boston Marathon champions, Abbott World Marathon Majors winners, global medalists, and Paralympic champions—will be announced in the coming months. Since 1986, John Hancock has served as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon.