These Are the Elite Runners to Watch at the Boston Marathon

The world’s best distance runners are gearing up for one of the most anticipated events in their sport: The Boston Marathon.

Among the thousands of racers who will lace up their sneakers on Monday, marking five years since the terrorist bombing, Shalane Flanagan is one to watch out for. After winning the New York Marathon in November — becoming the first American woman to take the title since 1977 — Marblehead, Mass., native Flanagan is a favorite in Boston.

Shalane Flanagan, nyc marathon
Shalane Flanagan becomes the first U.S. woman since 1977 to win the NYC Marathon.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

After sitting out the past two Boston Marathons (due to the Olympics in 2016 and an injury last year), the Nike athlete has high hopes for Monday’s race.

Aside from Flanagan, other American women are expected to be strong contenders this year, including Jordan Hasay, Molly Huddle, Deena Kastor and Desiree Linden. Hasay, who is part of the Nike Oregon Project, finished in third place last year.

On the men’s side, American Galen Rupp — who won the Chicago Marathon in October — looks to emerge victorious after a second-place finish in the 2017 Boston Marathon. The Nike-sponsored runner lost by 21 seconds to Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui last year and hopes to come out on top the second time around.

galen rupp, chicago marathon
Galen Rupp wins the Chicago Marathon in October 2017.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Meanwhile, Kirui aims to repeat last year’s success. Also sponsored by Nike, Kirui is up for a challenge — no one has won consecutive races since Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot won three races in a row from 2006 to 2008.

Geoffrey Kirui Boston Marathon Nike
Men’s winner Geoffrey Kirui running the 2017 Boston Marathon in Nike.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

The Boston Marathon will be held Monday, starting at 8:40 a.m., and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

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