News

Boston Marathon looks to set race records

Boston Marathon looks to set race records

BOSTON STRONG:Race organizers expanded the field by some 9,000 runners this year, to allow the roughly 5,000 athletes who had been left on the course last year when the twin pressure-cooker bombs went off near the finish line another chance to compete. Photo: Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) – Some 36,000 athletes, including Kenyan and Ethiopian runners who are consistently ranked among the world’s fastest, will run in the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, putting the world-renown race back in the spotlight after it was marred by last year’s bombing attack.

Returning men’s and women’s champions Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya are among the top-ranked runners expected to compete in the 26.2 mile race.

But each faces a rival with a faster personal-best time: Dennis Kimetto of Kenya ran last year’s Chicago Marathon in 2:03:45 and Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba turned in a 2:19:52 performance at the 2012 Dubois marathon.

No American athlete has stood atop the podium on Boston’s Boylston Street, not far from the site of last year’s bombing, since 1985 when Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach of Michigan won the women’s race. The drought has been longer for U.S. men: Greg Meyer of Massachusetts won in 1983.

But there are several U.S. hopefuls in the field, including Ryan Hall of California, who placed third in 2009 and Desiree Linden, who missed winning by just two seconds in 2011.

Race organizers expanded the field by some 9,000 runners this year, to allow the roughly 5,000 athletes who had been left on the course last year when the twin pressure-cooker bombs went off near the finish line another chance to compete.

Amateur runners often work for years to post the strict age-graded times needed to qualify for the elite race.

Three people died and 264 were injured last year when a pair of ethnic Checker brothers bombed the finish line, prosecutors contend.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bernard Orr)

Latest Stories

in National

Black Friday gun buys test background check system

Fresh
guns

As stores crowd with holiday shoppers, gun buyers will be challenging the nation's background check system to keep up.

in Black Friday, Viral Videos

Black Friday facts that will make you think twice

Fresh
22-overlay2

Before you wait in line for doorbuster deals, check out these Black Friday facts.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties

Tougher Regulations Considered For Cigarette Retailers

Fresh
Cigarettes CLIPART

Stores that sell cigarettes might have to get a license under a proposal being considered by the Virginia Crime Commission.

in Election, Local, Virginia Assembly

State Voting Equipment Under Scrutiny

Voting Machines Charlottesville

A top election official is calling for a review of the voting equipment used in Virginia.

in Local, Virginia Assembly

Herring Still Has Campaign Debt

Updated
Herring Mark (credit - from Virginia Office of the Attorney General website)

Attorney General Mark Herring is still dealing with $365,000 in campaign debt from 2013.