Endurance: Patrick Makau

By the numbers: Boston Marathon elite field

January, 20, 2015
Jan 20
Lelisa Desisa, Buzunesh Deba Getty ImagesLelisa Desisa and Buzunesh Deba are among the fastest elite runners in the Boston Marathon field.
Race organizers have completed the elite athlete fields for the 119th running of the Boston Marathon on April 20. Five previous champions will return to the start line in Hopkinton with the hope of being the first across the finish line on Boylston Street.

“During the last three decades, unpredictable and compelling races have played out on the streets from Hopkinton to Boston, as our American and international athletes push themselves to win here, more than any other race they will contest,” race director Tom Grilk said in a news release. “We look forward to the spring and watching new stories unfold in these athletes’ quest to capture the olive wreath at the finish on Boylston Street.”

The men’s field includes former world record holder Patrick Makau, 2013 champion Lelisa Desisa and 2012 champion Wesley Korir as the some of the threats to 2014 champion Meb Keflezighi’s title defense. World half-marathon record holder Zersenay Tadese makes his Boston debut, hoping to finally figure out the full marathon distance.

The women’s field is the fastest ever with 10 runners under 2:23. Mare Dibaba leads the charge after setting a personal best of 2:19:52 at the 2015 Xiamen Marathon. Buzunesh Deba, runner-up in 2014, is the second woman in the field under 2:20. Two-time Berlin Marathon Champion Aberu Kebede is also in the Boston field, and has run 11 races under 2:28 since 2010.

2012 champion Sharon Cherop and 2011 Caroline Kilel will also take part, and American Shalane Flanagan will have her hands full once again as she makes her third attempt at winning her hometown race.

The full field of elites have won 85 marathons around the world. Here’s a look at the group by the numbers:

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Haile Gebrselassie returns to marathon

November, 29, 2012
Haile GebrselassieAFP/Getty ImagesHaile Gebrselassie says he believes he has a shot at running 2:05 in Fukuoka on Sunday.
Haile Gebrselassie, one of the most accomplished distance runners in history, has been going through a bit of a career slump lately, but he's definitely not finished.

The Ethiopian returns to perhaps his best race, the marathon, this weekend at the 66th Fukuoka Marathon in Japan.

"I don't know exactly how fast I can run [Sunday] but I can run a good time," Gebrselassie told the Herald Scotland. "I don't know, between 2:05 and 2:06, it depends. I mean, their course is so nice and it depends on the weather.

"For the moment I am in good shape and what is important is my health is very good. The only problem is that I have office work now. I cannot take rest after morning training sessions anymore. My training is going well, though, and according to the program."

Gebrselassie (who won in Fukuoka in 2006) set a marathon world record with a time of 2:03:59 four years ago in Berlin, a mark eclipsed by Patrick Makau (2:03:38) in Berlin last year.