7 Former Boston Marathon Champions Will Run Boston in 2021 But Defending Champions Worknesh Degefa and Lawrence Cherono Aren’t Running
October 11, 2021
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2021 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(14-Jul) — The special fall edition of the Boston Marathon scheduled for Monday, October 11, will feature 13 previous race champions (LRC note: 7 running, 6 wheelchair), race organizers announced this morning. In addition, organizers unveiled a revised prize money and course record bonus structure which will award $50,000 to the race winners –including those competing in the wheelchair divisions– for setting new course records. Moreover, prize money will be offered for the first time within the race’s inaugural Para Athletics Division.
“We are delighted to welcome so many champions from such a diverse range of competition back to Boston for the 125th* running of the Boston Marathon,” said Boston Athletic Association president and CEO Tom Grilk through a statement. While October’s race marks a long-awaited return to racing, it will also recognize and celebrate the many world-class athletes competing for an historic prize purse across multiple divisions.”
In the open divisions, the returning champions are as follows:
Des Linden (USA), 2018
Edna Kiplagat (KEN), 2017
Caroline Rotich (KEN), 2015
Atsede Baysa (ETH), 2016
Lemi Berhanu (ETH), 2016
Geoffrey Kirui (KEN), 2017
Yuki Kawauchi (JPN), 2018
In the wheelchair divisions, the returning champions are:
Manuela Schär (SUI), 2017, 2019
Tatyana McFadden (USA), 2013-2016, 2018
Marcel Hug (SUI), 2015 – 2018
Ernst Van Dyk (RSA), 2001-2006, 2008-2010, 2014
Josh Cassidy (CAN), 2012
Daniel Romanchuk (USA), 2019
The race’s reigning champions, Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia and Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, were not included in today’s announcement.
“I can’t wait to line up in this year’s historic fall edition of the Boston Marathon,” Des Linden said through a statement. “Experience goes a long way in Boston and lining up with so many great champions, who have proven they know how to win on this course, will be an extra challenge on race day. I’m training hard and more motivated than ever to be ready to put together a memorable performance this October.”
The Boston Marathon has the largest prize money purse of any race in the Abbott World Marathon Majors: $876,500. That amount does not include the potential $200,000 in course record bonus payments. The open division race winners will receive $150,000 while the wheelchair division winners will get $25,000. The complete prize money structure is here: https://www.baa.org/races/bost
Support for the elite athlete divisions of the Boston Marathon comes from John Hancock Financial which has sponsored the race for 36 years. In recognition of that, the race’s elite field is dubbed the John Hancock Professional Athlete Team.
“The John Hancock Professional Team continues to be a symbol of athletic excellence and accomplishment,” said Kate Ardini, who is the head of marketing for John Hancock. “We are proud to welcome these 13 champions back to Boston for what will be a memorable 125th Boston Marathon in October.”
The Boston Marathon will be the fourth race of the Abbott World Marathon Majors which will be held this fall, assuming pandemic conditions allow it. The first will be the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday, September 26, followed by the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, October 3. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will take place on Sunday, October 10 (the day before Boston), then the Tokyo Marathon will be Sunday, October 17. The final race in the series will be the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 7. This is the first time in history that all of these events will be held in the fall season.
*The 2021 Boston Marathon will be the 124th edition as an in-person race, and the 125th including the 2020 virtual edition which had 16,183 finishers