If you’re chomping on the bit to see America’s best marathoners face off, you won’t have to wait until 2020 to see it. The U.S. fields for the 2018 Boston Marathon, as announced today by the Boston Athletic Association, are absolutely loaded.
That’s particularly the case on the women’s side, where nearly every contender for the 2020 Olympic team, with the exception of Amy Cragg and Laura Thweatt, is set to toe the starting line. Six of the eight fastest U.S. women of 2017 are entered in the field.
Here’s a quick rundown of who’s in the field:
The woman who made “F4%K YES” a cultural phenomenon is coming home. While there was speculation Flanagan might hang it up after her historic NYC Marathon title, it appears the pull of Boston was too strong for her to give up. “My heart said give it one more chance,” Flanagan wrote on Instagram, showing the strong emotional pull of her hometown race.
Coming off her third place finish at last year’s Boston and blazing 2:20:57 in Chicago, Hasay is on fire. Now the question is whether she unseat Flanagan for the title of “America’s best marathoner.” Given the rivalry between the Oregon Project and Bowerman TC, expect this to be a helleva duel between two fierce competitors.
After her third place marathon debut in NYC in 2016, Huddle went back to the track in 2017, finishing eighth in the 10k and 12th in the 5k at the World Championships this summer. Though her marathon experience doesn’t match others featured here, her accomplishments on paper are on par with the very best Americans.
Linden battled with a self-described “post-Olympics hangover” for much of 2017 after finishing fourth in Boston. Assuming she’s regained her competitive motivation, Linden knows the Boston course as well as anyone and should not be counted out.
Deena’s back! After taking a break for her very busy life schedule as a mother, coach and author, the 44 year old makes her triumphant return to the marathon. Kastor’s memoir is set to be released in the spring of 2018, so a strong finish could make marketing efforts for the book release just a little easier.
After her improbable two-marathons-in-five-weeks double in Frankfurt and Sacramento, Hall will have plenty of time to ramp back up for Boston on April 16.
Burla quietly lowered her personal best to 2:26:53 in January in Osaka before going on to finish 11th at the World Championships in London.
I still remember Taylor’s big move at the Olympic Trials to break the pack up midway through a blistering hot day in L.A. She ultimately finished sixth in that race but has since put together a pair of sub-2:30 finishes in London (2:28:51 for 13th place) and NYC (2:29:56 for eighth place).
The men’s field is headlined by none other than Galen Rupp. The 2017 Boston runner-up will be looking to claim his second World Marathon Major win after earning a decisive victory in Chicago this fall. With marathon GOAT Eliud Kipchoge and former Rupp training partner Mo Farah already committed to run London, Rupp’s chances in Beantown are looking better and better.
The remainder of the American men’s field is pretty solid, too:
This will be Ritz’s first marathon as part of the Hansons Brooks training group in Michigan after focusing on shorter distances in 2017. He last ran Boston in 2015, when he finished seventh in 2:11:20.
The ageless Abdi (he’ll be 41 years old on race day) put together another solid year of marathoning in 2017 — sixth in Boston and seventh in NYC. There’s no real evidence that he’s slowing down.
Biwott, a resident of Folsom, Calif., has quietly become one of America’s best and most consistent marathoners. In the past two years, he’s finished seventh at the Olympic Trials, fifth at NYC 2016, and fourth at Boston 2017.
The NAZ Elite runner crushed a 2:12:21 at Frankfurt, a personal best by over two minutes. The UC Santa Barbara grad looks to be hitting his stride in the marathon.
Bumbalough hasn’t quite figured out the marathon yet, having finished 25th in Tokyo and 13th in Chicago. But with track credentials of 7:37 for 3k, 13:12 for 5k, and 27:56 for 10k, he’s bound to get it right eventually.
After a few injury-plagued seasons, Vail made his return to the marathon with a solid 2:12:40 effort in Berlin.