Tokyo, London Announce 2013 Marathon Fields

January 25, 2013 at 12:00pm EST | by Barbara Huebner, NYRR News Service

When Tokyo joined the World Marathon Majors family last fall, becoming its sixth member, the move was seen as a major step forward for both the race and the series.

Yesterday, vision became reality when the Tokyo Marathon announced the strongest professional field since the race’s inaugural running in 2007. The fields will be led by nine men with personal bests under 2:07 and nine women who have run under 2:25, and both course records (2:07:23 and 2:25:28) will be under serious threat.

Tokyo will kick off the 2013–2014 World Marathon Majors Series on February 24, followed by the Boston Marathon on April 15, the Virgin London Marathon on April 21, the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 29, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13, and the ING New York City Marathon on November 3.

Headlined by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, who brings a personal best of 2:04:16, the men’s field features four men who have run sub-2:05 marathons. Kimetto holds the world record for 25K and owns the fastest debut marathon in history on a standard course with his 2:04:16, which earned him a runner-up finish to training partner Geoffrey Mutai in the BMW Berlin Marathon last fall.

For the women, veteran Irina Mikitenko of Germany, a two-time World Marathon Majors points champion, owns a personal best of 2:19:19 from 2008 but can expect strong challenges from a pair of Ethiopians who ran identical PBs of 2:20:30 last year: Buzunesh Bekele and BMW Berlin Marathon champion Aberu Kebede.

For the full fields, click here.

Then this morning, the Virgin London Marathon announced its professional field for 2013. Eleven men who have run under 2:06 and four women who have personal bests under 2:20 will tackle the flat, fast course.

The impressive men’s field includes the world record-holder, Patrick Makau of Kenya (2:03:38) and all three medalists from the 2012 Olympic Games: gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, silver medalist Abel Kirui of Kenya, and bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang of Kenya. Kipsang is the defending London Marathon champion, and he will be joined by the winners of the 2012 Berlin, Chicago, Frankfurt, and Dubai marathons.

Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia headlines the women’s field, by virtue of both her 2012 Olympic gold medal and her personal best of 2:18:58. She will face Kenyans Lucy Kabuu (2:19:34), Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44); Edna Kiplagat, the 2011 IAAF World Champion (2:19:50); and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo (2:20:14).

Expected to make her long-awaited debut at the distance is Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, a three-time Olympic gold medalist at 5000 and 10,000 meters.

For the full fields, click here.

The 2013 Boston Marathon fields were announced on January 15. Returning will be defending champions Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop, both of Kenya. Challenging Korir will be compatriot Moses Mosop, whose time of 2:03:06 in the 2011 Boston Marathon is the second-fastest marathon ever run; and Gebre Gebremariam, who won the 2010 ING New York City Marathon in his debut at the distance.

The race will feature five of the six 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team members: Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, Abdi Abdirahman, Shalane Flanagan, and Kara Goucher. Flanagan, who was raised in nearby Marblehead, MA, will be making her Boston debut.

For the full fields, click here.


Categories: Pro Athletes