The 2016 Boston Marathon Elite Field Has Been Announced

Two-time champ Lelisa Desisa is among those who will be racing for the title this year.

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon photo via Shutterstock

In just longer than three months, the Boston Marathon will be upon us again. And this morning, John Hancock Financial announced the elite field for this year’s running, which will take place on April 18.

Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, will be racing for his third title, after winning last year and in 2013. Joining him will be 20 other elite competitors, including Geoffrey Mutai, of Kenya, who is a two-time New York Marathon winner, and Wesley Korir, of Kenya, who won the Boston title in 2012 and the Los Angeles marathon twice. The men’s field consists of six contenders who hold personal bests under 2:05, and 10 who have achieved times under 2:06.

The women’s field is just as stacked, with 10 women holding bests under 2:23:23. Tiki Gelana, of Ethiopia, holds the fastest time at 2:18:58. Gelana was an Olympic gold medalist in 2012, and has also won the Amsterdam and Rotterdam marathons.

Other female racers include Buzunesh Deba, who finished the Boston Marathon second in 2014, Tirfi Tsegaye, and Mamitu Daska, all of Ethiopia. Twenty-two-year-old Purity Cherotich Rionoripo, of Kenya, will also race for the title.

There are four Americans participating in the elite field this year: Ian Burrell and Girma Mecheso in the men’s field, and Neely Spence Gracey and Sarah Crouch for the women’s field.

“Our team works year-round to play host and set a stage worthy of the caliber of professional athletes that will run here along with the rest of the splendid athletes in our field,” said Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, in a statement. “We wish the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team members good luck with their training with fewer than 100 days to go until our 120th race.”