Nine previous Boston Marathon champions will line up as part of an accomplished field of marathoners April 20, sponsor John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday.
The elite field for the 124th Boston Marathon features five women who have run a sub-2:20 marathon, including Buzunesh Deba, who set the women’s course record in 2014. It also includes 10 men with marathon personal bests lower than 2:07.
The elite field is light on Americans because the 2020 US Olympic marathon trials are just a little over seven weeks before Boston and the short time frame makes doing both a difficult proposition. 2018 Boston champion Desiree Linden told the Globe in December she plans to run both the Olympic trials Feb. 29 in Atlanta and Boston, but she is one of only two American women in the elite field released Wednesday. Kate Landau is the other.
“With Olympic and Paralympic medalists, national record-holders, and rising stars, the race toward the finish line will be both fierce and exciting,” said Tom Grilk, chief executive officer of the BAA. “We look forward to crowning our 2020 champions on what will be another memorable Patriots’ Day.”
Defending men’s champion Lawrence Cherono of Kenya holds the fastest personal-best time among the men’s elite field, a 2:04:06 set in Amsterdam in 2018. Lelisa Desisa, a two-time Boston champ from Ethiopia, is joined by Kenyans Philemon Rono, Benson Kipruto, Kenneth Kipkemoi, and Felix Kandie, Ethiopian Dejene Debela, and Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich as elites who have personal bests below 2:07.
Fernando Cabada is the only American man listed in the elite field.
In the wheelchair division, Manuela Schar of Switzerland and Daniel Romanchuk of the US will return to defend their titles.