Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir is favourite for the Boston Marathon title tomorrow ©Getty Images

Keen Kenyan rivals Peres Jepchirchir, the Olympic marathon champion, and last year’s London Marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei head a strong women’s field in tomorrow’s scheduled 126th running of the Boston Marathon.

The Kenyan duo have achieved major successes in women’s marathon racing over the past three years, with Jepchirchir - who finished in front of compatriot and world record holder Brigid Kosgei in Tokyo - holding the edge in their last three encounters.

After failing to finish the 2019 London Marathon, Jepkosgei won the New York City Marathon later that year in 2hr 22min 38sec.

One month later Jepchirchir set a personal best of 2:23:50 to win the Saitama Marathon and in December 2020 she won the Valencia Marathon in 2:17:16 with Jepkosgei taking second place in a personal best of 2:18:40.

After winning her Olympic title, Jepchirchir followed up with victory in the 2021 New York Marathon in 2:22:39.

Jepkosgei did not compete at the Olympics, but she won the London Marathon last year in a lifetime best of 2:17:43.

The women’s field includes two others who have run sub-2.20 in Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw, second to Jepkosgei in London last year with a personal best of 2:17:58, and Kenya’s two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat.

Other contenders include Ethiopian duo Etagegn Woldu and Ababel Yeshaneh, 2018 Boston winner Desiree Linden of the United States and Kenya’s Mary Ngugi.

Meanwhile Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor will seek to return to former heights when he joins a hugely talented men’s field.

At 29, the three-time world half marathon champion and winner of the 2017 and 2019 New York City Marathons hopes to get back into winning mode after fracturing his tibia when hit by a motorcycle while training in June 2020.

Kamworor, a regular training partner of world record holder and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, recovered to qualify for last year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics but was unable to take part following a subsequent ankle injury.

Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor, winner of the 2017 and 2019 New York City marathons will hope to get his career back to top level operation in tomorrow's Boston Marathon after two years of serious injuries ©Getty Images
Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor, winner of the 2017 and 2019 New York City marathons will hope to get his career back to top level operation in tomorrow's Boston Marathon after two years of serious injuries ©Getty Images

Save for Kipchoge, the men’s field will include every winner of the Boston, London and New York City races from their last two editions in 2019 and 2021.

Kamworor’s fellow Kenyan Lawrence Cherono, who won the Boston and Chicago marathons in 2019, is one of the most consistent performers around.

Meanwhile Ethiopia’s 32-year-old Lelisa Desisa, the current world champion, has a host of experience to draw upon given that he has already won twice in Boston, in 2013 and 2015, and earned victory in the 2018 New York City race.

Another Ethiopian, Birhanu Legese, is the third-fastest man in history and thus the fastest man in this field with a personal best of 2:02.48 from 2019.

He won Tokyo in 2019 and 2020 and hasn’t finished lower than fifth in a marathon in the last three and a half years.

Three men in the field earned their first major marathon victories last autumn - Kenyans Benson Kipruto and Albert Korir won in Boston and New York City respectively, while Ethiopian Sisay Lemma earned victory in London.

Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu, who won Boston in 2016 and was second last year, along with Kenya’s Evans Chebet, the seventh-fastest man in history at 2:03:00, will also be strong contenders.

The fastest Americans in the field are Scott Fauble, who has a best of 2:09:09 and Colin Bennie, who has run 2:09:38.

All told there will be a huge depth of talent in a men’s race that will mark the 40th anniversary of the legendary Duel in the Sun between home runners Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley, first and second in the 1982 edition in 2:08.51 and 2:08.53 respectively.

The Boston race returns to its traditional Patriots’ Day date for the first time since 2019, with the other classic spring marathon in London once again being held in the autumn this year.