And Then There Were None: Abdi Abdirhaman Withdraws from 2013 Boston Marathon

All Three 2012 US Olympic Marathoners Fail To Make 2013 Boston Starting Line

April 10, 2013

John Hanock, the biggest sponsor for the Boston Marathon, sent out a press release this morning about Friday’s elite athlete press conference (pasted below for your review) which will attend. It includes an updated elite field for Monday’s race.

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Three-time US Olympian Abdi Abdirahman as the press release stated, “American AbdiAbdirahman is a late drop and will not be able to run due to illness.”

This is a big blow for Boston.

Abd, Meb and Ryan full of optimism in May 2012. It's been a tough last year though for the most part.

Abd, Meb and Ryan full of optimism in May 2012. It’s been a tough last year though for the most part.

Boston doesn’t have the financial resources to compete with the Virgin London Marathon (which is six days after Boston on April 21st) in terms of elite fields as London in recent years has consistently secured the top marathon field in the world . That certainly is the case this year. On the men’s side, London has secured commitments from seven sub-2:05 performers and 11 sub-2:06 runners entered whereas Boston has just three and six at those level respectively.

Boston was counting on heavily promoting “the American angle” as in January they’d secured commitments from all three of the 2012 US Olympic marathoners from last year in Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman and Ryan Hall. As it turns out, none of the three have made the start line as Hall and Keflezighi previously had pulled out. This comes after both Hall and Abdirahman dropped out of the Olympic marathon in London mid-race.

You can read the Boston press release below.

More: Meb Keflezighi Withdraws From 2013 Boston Marathon With Injury
*Ryan Hall and Moses Mosop Both Pull Out of 2013 Boston Marathon
*The Three 2012 US Olympians – Meb, Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman – Will Race The 2013 Boston Marathon




BOSTON, MA – April 10, 2013 – John Hancock Financial will present its elite team of 32 international marathon runners from 11 countries to the media on Friday, April 12th at 10 AM at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. All credentialed media will have the opportunity to interview elite athletes during the event. The 117th running of the race is set for Monday, 
April 15, 2013. 

Reigning champions Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop, both of Kenya, return to defend their titles, but will be fiercely challenged by a talented international field of Olympians, World Marathon Majors, and multiple global marathon winners of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Cologne, Daegu, Dubai, Eindhoven, Eldoret, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Hamburg, Houston, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Milan, New York City, Paris, Porto, Rome, Shanghai, St. Paul, Soweto, Toronto, Turin, and the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Last year Korir and Cherop battled not only one of the strongest fields ever assembled, but also blistering race day temperatures topping 85F. Korir prevailed over countryman Levy Matebo in the final mile and Cherop used past experience to surge on the final turn to win the women’s race by two seconds. 

In the men’s race, challenging Korir is two-time Olympian and 2010 New York City winner Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who is again in the field after finishing third in 2011 in 2:04:53. Countryman Lelisa Desisa Benti joins Gebremariam to also pose a threat to Korir. Desisa was recently crowned champion of the Dubai Marathon in a debut time of is 2:04:45.

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, the 2010 Boston Marathon champion, and last year’s runner-up Levy Matebo, both of Kenya, return determined to break the tape ahead of Korir this time around. 2009 Boston Marathon champion Deriba Merga, of Ethiopia,  is also in the field and has the experience needed to repeat as victor.

Top Americans Jason Hartmann and Fernando Cabada will also seek the title. Hartmann finished as top American and fourth overall last year and Cabada holds the American record in the 25K. American AbdiAbdirahman is a late drop and will not be able to run due to illness. 

In the women’s race, Cherop will be chased by Amsterdam’s 2:21:09 course-record-holder Meseret Hailu Debele of Ethiopia, and Paris’ 2:21:40 course-record-holder Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene.  Past Boston champion and 2012 Chicago runner-up Rita Jeptoo of Kenya, and Mexican national-record-holder Madai Pérez also will present a challenge for the Boston crown.

American Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher are also expected to be top contenders. At the London Olympic Marathon, Flanagan and Goucher finished tenth and eleventh, respectively. Flanagan is a three-time Olympian and was runner-up in her 2010 marathon debut in New York City, before winning the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. Goucher has experience on the Boston course finishing as high as third in 2009 and fifth in 2011. 

Also in attendance will be Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Greg Meyer, and Dick and Rick Hoyt. 

For additional information, including elite athlete bios and elite bib and uniform assignments:

A complete list of the 2013 John Hancock Boston Marathon Elite Field is below.  

2013 John Hancock Elite Field*   117th Boston Marathon

MEN Personal Best Time Country
Lelisa Desisa Benti 2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013) Ethiopia
Gebregziabher ‘Gebre’ Gebremariam 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011) Ethiopia
Markos Geneti 2:04:54 (Dubai, 2012) Ethiopia
Levy Matebo 2:05:16 (Frankfurt, 2011) Kenya
Dickson Chumba 2:05:46 (Eindhoven, 2012) CR Kenya
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot 2:05:52 (Boston, 2010) Kenya
Wesley Korir 2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012) Kenya
Raji Assefa 2:06:24 (Paris, 2012) Ethiopia
Deriba Merga 2:06:38 (London, 2006) Ethiopia
Jeffrey Hunt 2:11:00 (Beppu, 2010) Australia
Jason Hartmann 2:11:06 (Chicago, 2010) USA
Fernando Cabada 2:11:53 (Houston, 2012) USA
Robin Watson 2:13:37 (Rotterdam, 2012) Canada
Micah Kogo Debut Kenya


WOMEN Personal Best Time Country
Meseret Hailu Debele 2:21:09 (Amsterdam, 2012) CR Ethiopia
Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene 2:21:19 (Berlin, 2012) Ethiopia
Mamitu Daska 2:21:59 (Frankfurt, 2011) Ethiopia
Rita Jeptoo 2:22:04 (Chicago, 2012) Kenya
Sharon Cherop 2:22:39 (Dubai, 2012) Kenya
Madai Pérez 2:22:59 (Chicago, 2006) NR Mexico
Alemitu Abera Begna 2:23:14 (Houston, 2012) CR Ethiopia
Kara Goucher 2:24:52 (Boston, 2011) USA
Shalane Flanagan 2:25:38 (US Olympic Trials Houston, 2012) CR USA
Ana Dulce Félix 2:25:40 (NYC, 2011) Portugal
Yolanda Caballero 2:26:17 (Boston, 2011) Colombia
Sabrina Mockenhaupt 2:26:21 (Berlin, 2010) Germany
Diana Chepkemoi Sigei 2:26:53 (Dubai, 2011) Kenya
Serena Burla 2:28:27 (Seoul, 2012) USA
Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce 2:29:35 (Houston, 2011) USA
René Kalmer 2:29:50 (Yokohama, 2011) RSA
Diane Nukuri-Johnson 2:30:13 (London, 2012) NR Burundi
Alissa McKaig 2:31:56 (Houston, 2012) USA

American Abdi Abdirahman and Ukrainian Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko are late drops due to illness.


NR = National Record
CR = Course Record

(Field as of 4/10/13)


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