FIVE STORIES TO FOLLOW IN BOSTON
The Boston Marathon is never short of drama and intrigue as we build up to the race each year. The 2022 edition, the 126th consecutive running of the race, is certainly no different. Here are five stories we'll be keeping a close eye on this Patriot's Day.
1. Clash of the titans
In November last year we saw AbbottWMM history made when Peres Jepchirchir and Joyciline Jepkosgei were crowed join champions of the women's Series XIII. Now we get to see them in head to head battle as they take to the roads in Boston. Jepkosgei has proven she can compete on differing Majors courses after conquering New York City in 2019 and London in 2021, while Jepchirchir won the Olympics in energy-sapping heat of Sapporo in 2021 before also winning in the Big Apple last year. We can't wait to see how this pair's tactics will differ as they tackle the ups and downs of the famous Newton Hills on the way into Boston.
2. Can Hug turn on the style again?
Swiss wheelchair racing stars Marcel Hug and Manuela Schär took the men's and women's titles in dominant fashion last year in Boston, with Hug missing out on the course record after a momentary lapse in concentration saw him overshoot one of the most famous right turns in marathon running before heading down the home straight. If the Silver Bullet is on for a record-breaking time again this year, all eyes will be on him to see if he can make that right on Hereford with no problems.
3. Will sprint finish history repeat itself?
No fewer than six former champions of the race will be lining up in Hopkinton to contest the men's race. They include the pair who dueled to the tape in 2019, Lelisa Desisa and Lawrence Cherono. It was Cherono who triumphed that day in one of the greatest AbbottWMM finishes of all time, the Kenyan edging out the Ethiopian just before the tape. Nobody will be disappointed if this year's race comes down to the final few yards once again.
4. Wedded bliss for our Six Star Finishers
They say a couple that runs together stays together - and there will be plenty of proof of that theory on show at the Six Star Finisher medal tent beyond the finish at this year's Boston Marathon. No fewer than nine married couples are aiming to complete their Six Star Journey together, with some of them having run side by side in all six races every step of the way. We are preparing ourselves for an emotion overload at that medal tent. Handkerchiefs at the ready.
5. Thank you Tom!
The 126th Boston Marathon will be the final one with the esteemed Tom Grilk as President and CEO of the Boston Athletic Association. Tom will become Senior Advisor to the B.A.A. after more than 40 years of association with the organization. Tom was instrumental in bringing in the Boston Marathon as a founding member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors and has been at the forefront in guiding and building the B.A.A., the Boston Marathon and the Majors through great times of change. He moves into his new role with a heartfelt gratitude for all of his work from everyone in the AbbottWMM family.