Hall, Goucher lead U.S. contingent; prize purse exceeds $800,000; Rodgers returns; Universal Sports to provide live race coverage; World Marathon Majors season kick-off
By Ryan Lamppa, Running USA wire
With another strong international field and Americans with realistic winning potential, the 2009 Boston Marathon, set for Monday, April 20, is perhaps the most anticipated one in recent memory. The 113th edition of the storied 26.2 mile race raises the following intriguing questions: Will Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot win a race record fourth consecutive title? Will an American reach the top of the podium and wear the laurel wreath for the first time since 1985? Who will have a big day and make history?
The guaranteed Open prize purse goes fifteen deep and exceeds $800,000 with $150,000 for each race champion. There is also bonus money for bettering the world record and course record, $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.
In Hopkinton, the professional women start at 9:32am, followed by the professional men and first wave at 10:00am and second wave at 10:30am. The Monday race weather forecast is a few showers and temperatures from the upper 30s to the low 50s.
Bill Rodgers, whose four Boston Marathon victories between 1975 and 1980 helped popularize the sport of marathon running in the United States, plans to be on the starting line in Hopkinton once again on Patriots' Day.
His bib will read "Rodgers," and his official number will be 79 to honor the 30th anniversary of his 1979 Boston Marathon win. Rodgers, 61, last completed the race in 1996, when he celebrated the 100th Boston Marathon. Then 48, Rodgers ran 2:53:23.
Beginning at 9:00am ET, Universal Sports will provide live, worldwide coverage of the 113th Boston Marathon via Universal Sports TV and UniversalSports.com. Fans can visit UniversalSports.com/marathon to watch the race LIVE or find where Universal Sports TV is being offered and breaking news, video highlights, special features, photo galleries and more.
The 2009 Boston Marathon also kicks off the second half of the 2008-09 World Marathon Majors series, and for more information including the WMM schedule and current standings, visit: www.WorldMarathonMajors.com
113th Boston Marathon
John Hancock's professional athlete field by personal best order
As of April 10, 2009
Ryan Hall (USA / CA), 2:06:17 (London 2008)
Evans Cheruiyot (KEN), 2:06:25 (Chicago 2008)
Deriba Merga (ETH), 2:06:38 (London 2008)
Daniel Rono (KEN), 2:06:58 (Rotterdam 2008)
Benjamin Maiyo (KEN), 2:07:09 (Chicago 2005)
Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (KEN), 2:07:14 (Boston 2006), defending champion; course record holder; four-time winner (2003, 2006-08)
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN), 2:07:21 (Frankfurt 2008)
Gudisa Shentema (ETH), 2:07:34 (Paris 2008)
Gashaw Asfaw (ETH), 2:08:03 (Paris, 2006)
Stephen Kiogora (KEN), 2:08:24 (Frankfurt 2008)
Solomon Molla (ETH), 2:08:46 (Seoul, 2008)
Timothy Cherigat (KEN), 2:09:34 (San Sebastian 2002), 2004 Boston champion
Lee Troop (AUS), 2:09:49 (Otsu City 2003)
Elijah Sang (KEN), 2:10:13 (Frankfurt, 2007)
Tekeste Kebede (ETH), 2:10:36 (Phoenix-Tempe 2009)
Brian Sell (USA / MI), 2:10:47 (Chicago 2006)
Grigoriy Andreev (RUS), 2:11:01 (Turin 2008)
Bezunesh Bekele (ETH), 2:23:09 (Dubai 2008)
Salina Kosgei (KEN), 2:23:22 (Berlin 2006)
Dire Tune (ETH), 2:24:40 (Houston 2008), defending champion
Elfenesh Alemu (ETH), 2:24:29 (London 2001)
Helena Kirop (KEN), 2:25:01 (Berlin 2008)
Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS), 2:25:10 (Los Angeles 2006), 2007 Boston champion
Atsede Habtamu (ETH), 2:25:17 (Dubai 2009)
Kara Goucher (USA / OR), 2:25:53 (New York City 2008), U.S. debut record holder
Alice Timbilili (KEN), 2:26:45 (Paris 2008)
Adanech Zekiros (ETH), 2:27:32 (Rotterdam 2008)
Shuru Deriba (ETH), 2:28:26 (Dubai 2009)
Elva Dryer (USA / CO), 2:31:48 (Chicago 2006), two-time U.S. Olympian
For more race information, visit: www.BostonMarathon.org.