Photo by Jimmy Woo on Unsplash
The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today the fastest and most decorated women’s professional field for the 126th Boston Marathon, to be run on April 18, 2022.
Reigning Olympic marathon medalists Peres Jepchirchir (gold) and Molly Seidel (bronze), as well as Paralympic marathon gold medalist Madison de Rozario and three-time Boston Marathon champion Manuela Schär headline the field competing on Patriots’ Day.
Headlining the John Hancock Professional Athlete Team are 12 women who have run under 2:23, including the fastest women in the world in 2020 (Kenya’s Jepchirchir, 2:17:16) and 2021 (Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei, 2:17:43). The Monday, April 18th race, which will be the first Boston Marathon held on Patriots’ Day since 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of the first official women’s field, which in 1972 was comprised of eight finishers.
“As we look to celebrate the trailblazing women of 1972, we are delighted to welcome the fastest and most accomplished women’s field in the history of the Boston Marathon,” said B.A.A. President and CEO Tom Grilk. “Though there have been many milestones in the five decades since the women’s division was established in Boston, this field of Olympic and Paralympic medalists, Boston champions, and global stars will make this a race to remember on Patriots’ Day.”
Jepchirchir will make her Boston Marathon debut less than a year after claiming both the Olympic marathon gold medal in Tokyo and the TCS New York City Marathon title. She’ll square off against Tokyo bronze medalist Seidel, a former Boston resident who became only the third American woman in history to medal in the Olympic marathon.
“My high expectations is to be a winner and I would like to arrive at the day of the race in my best shape,” said Jepchirchir. “I have time enough to prepare for it and I will do my best in training to be ready to run against some of the best marathon runners in the world.”
“When I lived and trained in Boston I just became totally enamored with the Boston Marathon. Every Patriots’ Day I would go to Heartbreak Hill to watch the runners, and whenever I trained on the course I dreamed of getting to run the race someday,” said Seidel. “There’s something uniquely special about the Boston Marathon, and I absolutely can’t wait to line up in Hopkinton this April for the race!”
In addition to Jepchirchir and Seidel, this year’s women’s professional open field includes Boston Marathon champions Edna Kiplagat (2017) and Des Linden (2018), 2021 London and 2019 New York City Marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei, as well as four sub-2:20 Ethiopian contenders in Degitu Azimeraw, Roza Dereje, Zeineba Yimer and Tigist Girma.
Beyond Seidel and Linden, a strong American contingent includes Sara Hall, the second-fastest American marathoner in history (2:20:32), Nell Rojas, the top American and sixth place finisher in Boston in October (2:27:12), and USA Olympic Marathon Trials top-ten finishers Kellyn Taylor (2:24:28 personal best) and Stephanie Bruce (2:27:47 PB). From Canada is Olympian and national record holder Malindi Elmore and two-time Olympian Natasha Wodak, while Charlotte Purdue of Great Britain is the fastest European in the field and third fastest British marathoner of all-time (2:23:26).
Fronting the women’s wheelchair field are Schär (Switzerland) and de Rozario (Australia), who have dominated the marathon distance in recent years. Schär earned five Paralympic medals (two gold) and her third Boston Marathon victory at October’s 125th edition, while de Rozario won Paralympic gold in the marathon then made history by becoming the first Australian woman to win the TCS New York City Marathon last fall. Schär also holds the world record and Boston Marathon course record of 1:28:17, set in 2017.
“It’s always very exciting to return to Boston,” said Schär. “It will probably be the first race after a very intense 2021 season, so it will be good to see where I stand. I am very eager to return to the roads.”
Also competing among the women’s wheelchair division are five-time Boston winner and 20-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden (USA), reigning Paralympic marathon bronze medalist Nikita den Boer (Netherlands), Paralympic 5000m gold medalist Susannah Scaroni (USA), and five-time Boston champion Wakako Tsuchida (Japan).
Top finishers return within the Para Athletics Divisions, as American Olympian Liz Willis and Brazil’s Tayana Pasos defend their lower-limb and visually impaired division titles from the 125th Boston Marathon. Accomplished trail runner Jacky Hunt-Broersma will also compete in the T64 division. During the pandemic Hunt-Broersma became the first lower-limb impaired athlete to run 100 miles on a treadmill, setting a world record of 23 hours, 38 minutes, and in 2020 she was named to the Boston Marathon’s Honorary Team.
The complete field of women’s professional athletes entered in the 126th Boston Marathon can be found below. The men’s professional field will be released on Thursday, January 13. More information regarding the 50th anniversary of the 1972 inaugural women’s division will be announced in the coming months as well.
For the 37th year, John Hancock will serve as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon. The men’s professional field will be announced on Thursday, January 13.