marathon

Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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Who were the fastest U.S. marathon runners in 2022?

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The New York City Marathon marked the last major marathon of 2022. That in mind, a look at where U.S. marathon runners stand with 15 months until the Olympic Trials, where the top three finishers are likely to qualify for the Paris Games …

This was the greatest year in U.S. women’s marathon history going strictly by times. A 16-year-old American record was broken by Keira D’Amato in January, and then Emily Sisson broke D’Amato’s record in October. Nine women went under 2:26. Before 2022, a total of 15 U.S. women broke 2:26 all-time.

No American woman made the top five in Boston or New York City (no American man did either, marking the first time that happened for both genders in one year since 2001). But the U.S. women had the best collective results of any nation at the world championships in July in Eugene, Oregon — fifth, seventh and eighth.

Sisson, 31, broke the American record in Chicago in her first mass marathon since dropping out of the February 2020 Olympic Trials as arguably the pre-race favorite.

D’Amato, a 38-year-old mother of two, left competitive running for eight years after college. She returned in the Tokyo Olympic cycle and placed 15th at the last Olympic Trials, when she was not considered a contender to make the team. Now she is very much in the discussion, if not a favorite.

Sara Hall, who with husband Ryan has raised four adopted Ethiopian sisters since 2015, ranks third in the nation this year. Since 2004, she raced seven Olympic Trials events without making a team spanning the 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, 3000m steeplechase and the marathon. Come the Paris Games, she will be age 41, older than any previous U.S. Olympic female runner, according to Olympedia.org.

Emma Bates, 30, was the fastest American in 2021 and the No. 2 American finisher this year at worlds and in New York City. Among this year’s top tier, she has been the most consistent runner and is the youngest.

Others to watch: Aliphine Tuliamuk, the surprise 2020 Olympic Trials winner, was the top American in New York City (seventh, 2:26:18, on a difficult course) in her first marathon since running the Tokyo Games seven months after childbirth.

Molly Seidel, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist, ran one marathon in 2022, dropping out of Boston with hip pain. She then withdrew before the world championships, citing a “complete struggle” physically and mentally since Boston in April.

Fastest U.S. Women’s Marathons in 2022

Name Time Race Result
Emily Sisson 2:18:29 Chicago 2nd
Keira D’Amato 2:19:12 Houston 1st
Keira D’Amato 2:21:48 Berlin 6th
Sara Hall 2:22:10 World Championships 5th
Sara Hall 2:22:56 Tokyo 8th
Emma Bates 2:23:16 World Championships 7th
Keira D’Amato 2:23:34 World Championships 8th
Lindsay Flanagan 2:24:35 Gold Coast (Australia) 1st
Dakotah Lindwurm 2:25:01 Duluth 1st
Susanna Sullivan 2:25:14 Chicago 6th
Sarah Sellers 2:25:43 Duluth 2nd
Nell Rojas 2:25:57 Boston 10th

As has been the trend, the U.S. men have not been as strong as the U.S. women.

Conner Mantz, who made his marathon debut in Chicago and posted the fastest time for an American man this year, ranks 148th in the world for 2022 by best times. In comparison, 11 American women rank in the top 142 in the world this year.

If Mantz remains the fastest American through the end of the year, and 14 more men from other nations pass him in the world time rankings, it will be the first year in modern World Athletics records that an American man does not rank in the top 161 in the world.

In recent years, two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp kept American men’s marathon running afloat (Rupp was the lone U.S. man in the top 295 in the world last year). But Rupp, now 36, struggled with injuries this year, causing him to stop several times in the late miles of the world championships (finished 19th) and possibly being the reason for dropping out during New York City on Sunday.

The good news: Two U.S. men broke 2:09 for the first time since 2006, and four broke 2:09:30 for the first time ever. Ian Butler (personal best 2:09:45) and C.J. Albertson (personal best 2:10:23) are still to run the Valencia Marathon on Dec. 4.

Mantz was the fastest American from his one marathon in 2022. Scott Fauble, who entered the 2020 Olympic Trials as a contender and finished 12th, was the top American in Boston and New York City, putting him right up there, too.

Fastest U.S. Men’s Marathons in 2022

Name Time Race Result
Conner Mantz 2:08:16 Chicago 7th
Scott Fauble 2:08:52 Boston 7th
Elkanah Kibet 2:09:07 Boston 9th
Zach Panning 2:09:28 Chicago 11th
Galen Rupp 2:09:36 World Championships 19th
Matt McDonald 2:09:49 Chicago 12th
Nico Montanez 2:09:55 Chicago 13th
C.J. Albertson 2:10:23 Boston 13th
Matt McDonald 2:10:35 Boston 14th
C.J. Albertson 2:10:52 Duluth 5th
Reed Fischer 2:10:54 Boston 16th

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Orlando to host 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Olympic Marathon Trials
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Orlando will host the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 3, 2024.

The top three men and women at trials are expected to make up the team for the Paris Games.

Early favorites include Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato, who this year became the two fastest U.S. female marathon runners in history, and Galen RuppConner Mantz and Scott Fauble.

Orlando, the first Florida host in marathon trials history, was chosen while Chattanooga, Tennessee, was also reportedly in the running.

Atlanta held the last Olympic marathon trials on Feb. 29, 2020, less than a month before the Tokyo Games were postponed from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Orlando will be the farthest south host in Olympic marathon trials history, displacing Houston, which hosted in 1992 and 2012.

The site for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials has not been announced.

U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials hosts
1908: Boston, St. Louis
1912: Boston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York (modified to about 12 miles)
1920: Boston, Brooklyn, Detroit, New York
1924: Boston
1928: Boston, Chesapeake Bay, New York to Long Beach AAU Championship race
1932: Boston, Baltimore
1936: Boston, AAU Championship in Washington
1940: Boston, Yonkers (N.Y.)
1948: Boston, Yonkers
1952: Boston, Yonkers
1956: Boston, Yonkers
1960: Boston, Yonkers
1964: Culver City (Calif.), Yonkers
1968: Alamosa (Colo.)
1972: Eugene (Ore.)
1976: Eugene
1980: Niagara Falls (N.Y.)
1984: Buffalo (N.Y.), Olympia (Wash.)
1988: Jersey City (N.J.), Pittsburgh
1992: Columbus (Ohio), Houston
1996: Charlotte, Columbia (S.C.)
2000: Pittsburgh, Columbia
2004: Birmingham, St. Louis
2008: New York, Boston
2012: Houston
2016: Los Angeles
2020: Atlanta
2024: Orlando

A women’s marathon debuted at the Olympics in 1984. Separate host cities were used for men’s and women’s trials from 1984 through 2008.

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