Eliud Kipchoge is the man to watch in Monday's Boston marathon

Will the world's fastest marathon runner will conquer 'Heartbreak Hill'? [File, Standard]

All eyes are on Kenya's world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge.

Will the world's fastest marathon runner conquer "Heartbreak Hill"?

The 127th Boston marathon will take place today from 4:30pm (EAT) and will feature 30,000 athletes from more than 100 countries. The race has attracted the creme de la creme of runners. "The field size for the 127th Boston marathon, scheduled to take place on Monday, April 17, 2023, has been established as 30,000 participants." The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced.

Kipchoge, who will run his first Boston marathon on Monday, holds the world record for 42kms.

List of elite runners

The elite runners who will participate in today's marathon include; women - Amane Beriso (Ethiopia) 2:14:58, Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) 2:17:43, Lonah Salpeter (Israel) 2:17:45, Angela Tanui (Kenya) 2:17:57, Gotytom Gebreslase (Ethiopia) 2:18:11, Hiwot Gebremaryam (Ethiopia) 2:19:10, Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) 2:19:50, Celestine Chepchirchir (Kenya) 2:20:10, Maurine Chepkemoi (Kenya) 2:20:18, and Mary Ngugi (Kenya) 2:20:22.

The men are - Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) 2:01:09, Evans Chebet (Kenya) 2:01:09, Evans Chebet (Kenya) 2:03:00, Gabriel Geay (Tanzania) 2:03:00, Herpasa Negasa (Ethiopia) 2:03:40), Benson Kipruto (Kenya) 2:04:24, Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) 2:04:45, Shura Kitata (Ethiopia) 2:04:49, John Korir (Kenya) 2:05:01, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (Eritrea) 2:05:34, Andualem Belay (Ethiopia) 2:05:45 and Mark Korir (Kenya) 2:05:49.

Unique race for Kipchoge

According to Jonathan Komen, Standard's athletics reporter, the Boston marathon will be a unique race for Kipchoge. If he wins today, he (Kipchoge) goes to New York in November 2023 and will have completed and registered a win in all the six major marathon series, i.e., the Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York marathons.

This will make Kipchoge a champion.

From his recent statements, Kipchoge appears to be composed, confident, and ready to face the Boston marathon. "In the past few days, I've discovered the city of Boston, and I can say I truly enjoyed being here. I really feel the energy of the people, and it's great to experience and meet with the community." Eliud Kipchoge tweeted.

Geofrey Mutai holds the record for running the fastest marathon ever on April 18, 2011 at the Boston marathon in a time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 2 seconds (4:41 per mile pace or 2:54 per kilometer pace), though the time was not recognised by the International Association of Athletic Federations as a world record since the Boston course does not meet the criteria to be eligible for the mark.

Preparing for Boston marathon

It takes two to four months to train for a marathon like Boston. An athlete runs two marathons in a year, during the spring and summer seasons. The marathons start in February and then again in September to November.

So far, Edna Kiplagat has completed all six major marathon series with six victories and 14 podium finishes, crowned by wins in New York, London and Boston. She (Kiplagat) is the only able-bodied athlete who has made the podium in five out of the six annual World Marathon Majors, with a fourth-place finish at the Berlin Marathon in 2018 being the only miss.

Heartbreak Hill

While every marathon might be a back breaking one, the Boston marathon is a special kind of challenge. Runners face rolling hills and unpredictable New England weather over the varied 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston Street. Depending on the weather condition and some sections of the downhill, it often might be too windy, and this can also assist runners in winning.

The Boston marathon is point-to-point, and the course drops 140 metres from start to finish, allowing a helpful tailwind.

The most well-known challenge that Boston runners confront in the annual event is Newton's Heartbreak Hill. The aptly named ascent poses a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to runners who are deep into the race and might already be struggling.

The race marks the start of a busy period for major marathon races, with the annual race in London due to take place next Sunday (April 23, 2023).

In comparing Boston to London, London can be relied upon for almost perfect weather conditions, often overcast with light winds and temperatures. In Boston, however, the weather is a lottery and often unpredictable.

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