Mark Your Calendars: Eliud Kipchoge Is Running the 2023 Boston Marathon – 4 Thoughts

By Jonathan Gault
December 1, 2022

It’s finally happening, people. Eliud Kipchoge is running the Boston Marathon. Mark your calendars for Monday, April 17, 2023 and plan on taking a vacation day/calling in sick, because you’re not going to want to miss the greatest marathoner in history running his first Boston. 

Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist, has long maintained that he wants to run (and win) all six Abbott World Marathon Majors. A victory in Boston would bring him one step closer to that goal; he already has victories in Tokyo, London, Berlin, and Chicago, with Boston and New York still to go. No man has ever won five different majors, let alone all six.

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Kipchoge released a video announcing he’s coming to Boston.

Courtesy B.A.A.

Kipchoge is by far the biggest name in next year’s Boston field, but there is talent behind him as well. Between Kipchoge, Benson Kipruto (2022 Chicago champ), and Evans Chebet (2022 Boston/New York champ), the 2023 Boston field will include five of the six WMM champions from 2022. World champion Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia and former Boston champs Edna Kiplagat and Des Linden headline the women’s field (the full fields have yet to be announced).

A few thoughts on Kipchoge’s big news.

This is great for the sport

Anytime Kipchoge races is an event, but it’s way more interesting for him to run Boston than to run London for the sixth time this spring. One of the most exciting things in the sport is watching the greats challenge themselves. At this stage in his career, Kipchoge doesn’t have many challenges remaining, but winning Boston is definitely one of them as he’s never proven he can win a hilly marathon (he’s also never run a hilly marathon). Assuming nothing happens between now and April 17, getting to see Kipchoge climb Heartbreak Hill, run through Kenmore Square, and make the iconic left turn onto Boylston Street at the finish will be a treat for marathon fans. Particularly American fans, who haven’t seen him run a marathon on US soil since Chicago in 2014 — a span of 3,109 days or 8 years, 6 months, and 5 days.

Kipchoge will start as the favorite in April, but it’s not a slam dunk that he wins

As great as Kipchoge is, he has never run a marathon like Boston. Counting his sub-2:00 attempts, Kipchoge has run 19 marathons in his career. Only two of those did not feature pacemakers, and none of them came on courses that could be described as hilly. His two Olympic victories showed that he can still win without pacemakers, but the challenging Boston course will present a new challenge for Kipchoge.

It’s also worth noting that, while Kipchoge just ran a world record of 2:01:09 in Berlin in September, no man has won Boston while holding the world record (Australia’s Robert De Castella won Boston in 1986 but no longer held the marathon WR at that point). Fast personal bests are not as important in Boston as in paced races like London and Berlin.

2023 Boston will feature a clash of the world’s top three men’s marathoners

If you were to draw up a field to defeat Kipchoge, it would look like the 2023 Boston field. Not only does it feature the two men we’d rank as #2 and #3 in the world right now behind Kipchoge – Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto – but both of those men have won on the Boston course recently. Kipruto was the champ in October 2021 while Chebet has shown he can deliver on tough courses as he won Boston in April 2022 and New York last month. If Kipchoge is to win Boston next year, he is going to have to work for it.

Kipchoge isn’t the only stud running Boston

The full fields aren’t out but the following runners are committed to 2023 Boston as well.

Men
Evans Chebet – reigning NYC and Boston champ. 2:03:00 pb. 34 years old.
Benson Kipruto – 2021 Boston, 2022 Chicago champ. 2:04:24 pb. 31 years old.
Lelisa Desisa – 2013 Dubai, 2013 and 2015 Boston champ, 2018 NYC champ, 2019 world champ. 2:04:45 pb. 32 years old. 

Women
Gotytom Gebreslase
– reigning WMM champ and world champ. 2:18:11 pb. 27 years old.
Des Linden – 2018 Boston champ. Ran 2:22:38 in Boston 2011. 39 years old.
Edna Kiplagat – 2011/2013 World champ, 2010 NYC, 2014 London, 2017 Boston champ. 2:19:50 pb. 43 years old.
Atsede Baysa – 2012 Chicago. 2016 Boston champ. 2:22:03 pb. 35 years old.

Talk about Kipchoge’s participation in Boston on our world-famous fan forum/messageboard. MB: Kipchoge 2023 Boston Marathon CONFIRMED

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