Friday, April 17, 2015

Run Jen Run’s Boston Marathon Preview 2015

30,000 runners will make the 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boylston Street this Monday morning for the 119th running of the Boston Marathon.

It’s a pretty special year for the city of Boston.  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty.  Meb comes in as the defending champ wearing bib #1 after an incredibly inspiring and emotional race in 2014.  Shalane is back and hungrier than ever.  Desi is very fit giving the American women two great opportunities to bring home a victory for the first time since 1985.
[Related Post: Run to Win]

On a personal level, my boss is running this year for Spaulding's Run for Rehab Team and it’s been fun watching him progress through his training.  It’s been a brutal winter to run outdoors but he’s been sticking to his training plan and took a few of my spin classes for cross training!  Go Joe!  My friend Stacey (@capecodrunner) is running her first Boston and second marathon.  Another friend Chris will be running his first marathon.  Also, my FRR little sister Kelly is running with her mom… wait whaaaat?  Kelly is running a marathon?!  I’m so proud!

Are you running on Monday?!  I’d love to follow and track you!

Back to the race.  I said this last year and I’m saying it again…

There is nothing more motivating and powerful than watching a marathon.  From the elites to the back of the pack joggers, everyone has a story to tell about their journey and months of training.
Universal Sports Network will be broadcasting the event.  They will air a preview show on Sunday at 4:00pm (that will re-air multiple times throughout the weekend if you miss it) interviewing some of the athletes and setting the scene for this year’s race.  Live coverage begins Monday morning at 8:30am.  The wheelchair start is at 9:17am.  The women’s elite start is at 9:32am; the men start at 10:00am.  The BAA is also live streaming the event at

The Boston Marathon is one of the World Marathon Majors along with New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, and Berlin.  To those that don’t follow the sport, Monday's race a big deal.  Boston is similar to the Super Bowl of football.  Or the Kentucky Derby of horse racing.  Shalane Flanagan has said in multiple interviews that she would rather be crowned Boston Marathon champion over Olympic champion.

Let's take a look at this year's elite field and who to root for...


The Americans: Shalane Flanagan, Desi Linen, Amy (Hastings) Cragg

Shalane – She was very open about her disappointment in 2014 even after running a marathon personal best.  She’s the local favorite, Boston is her love and I am hoping for big things to happen for her. (2:21:14 PR)

Desi - Desi had her best Boston finish in 2011 when she placed second.  She has said in numerous interviews that she feels she is in the same place with her fitness and training and could be a major force this year. (2:22:38 PR)

Amy – A  2012 Olympian at 10,000m, Amy will be running her first Boston. (2:27:03 PR)

The American women will have a lot of work to do if they want to break the American win drought.  The 2015 women’s elite field is the fastest field in the history of the event.  Ten women have marathon personal bests under 2:23.  One woman that WON’T be in Boston is 3-time champ (2006, 2013 & 2014) Rita Jeptoo who is currently facing a 2 year ban from doping.  What a disappointment when I heard the news.

Sharon Cherop – 2012 champion and placed third in both 2011 and 2013 (2:22:28 PR)

Caroline Kilel – 2011 champion (2:22:34 PR)

Mare Dibaba – 3rd in 2014, holds the fasted PR in the field from a race in China in January (2:19:52 PR)

Buzunesh Deba – 2014 runner-up, 2-time runner-up in NYC (2:19:59 PR)

Aberu Kebede – 2 time Berlin Marathon champ (2:20:30 PR)


The Americans: Meb Keflezighi, Dathan Ritzenhein, Nick Arciniaga, Matt Tegenkamp, Jeffrey Eggleston

Meb is fit and healthy so you never know what will happen this year.  He is the defending champ and has already said he achieved all his goals so another win would just be “icing on the cake.”  He has less pressure on himself and running with passion.  I have always been on Team Meb cheering for him all the way.

This is Dathan’s first time in Boston.  He hasn’t run a marathon since October 2013 but he holds the fastest PR of all the Americans (2:07:47 PR).  Matt has been quiet on the roads in recent months.  Nick & Jeffrey were second and third Americans in 2014.

The Americans will be facing a strong international field.

Patrick Makau - Former world record holder and 2x Berlin Marathon champ holds the fastest PR of all the men in the race (2:03:38 PR)

Lelisa Desisa – The 2013 champion and 2013 World Championship Marathon silver medalist. (2:04:45 PR)

Wilson Chebet – 2014 runner-up (2:05:27 PR), he said after the race that he thought Meb was a pacesetter so it will be exciting to see what he can do this year.

Welsey Korir – 2012 champion, the year of the heat! (2:06:13 PR)

Gebre Gebremariam – 2 time Olympian, 2010 NYC champion and former Falmouth Road Race winner! Finished third at Boston in both 2012 and 2013 (2:04:53 PR)

Abel Kirui – 2 time WORLD champion (2:05:04 PR)

If you will be in Boston this weekend, check out these other exciting events:

John Hancock Sport & Fitness Expo and Boston Marathon Bib Number Pick-Up
Did you know that the marathon expo is open to the public?  You don’t have to be a registered runner to attend.  It will be held race weekend at the John B. Hynes Convention Center featuring many great sponsors, brands, and companies with a passion for running, health and fitness.  Many give away samples and free advice.

BAA Invitational Mile
On Saturday April 18th is the BAA Invitational Mile.  The men’s race is at 11:20am, the women at 11:30am.  Some of the best middle distance runners race every year two days before the marathon.  It’s a 3-lap course beginning on Boylston Street and finishing at the Marathon finish line.

Meb Keflezighi at the Harvard Book Store
In honor of Meb’s new book “Meb for Mortals”released on April 7th (you can buy it on Amazon), he will be speaking at the Harvard Book Store on Friday April 17th at 7pm.  You must purchase a ticket for the event ($25) but it includes a copy of the book!  The first 100 tickets sold also included a free pair of Sketches shoes!  I've had the opportunity to hear Meb talk many times and I highly recommend going if you have the chance.  So inspiring!

Boston Marathon RunBase
adidas, the BAA and Marathon Sports teamed up this year to open the Boston Marathon RunBase at the finish line on Boylston Street.  It should be really cool and I can’t wait to check it out.


Interested in running in 2016?  You can find all the Boston Marathon qualifying standards here.  Competitor Magazine recently put out a list of 13 Races that make Great Boston Qualifiers featuring fast and flat races for you to run your best.

Did you know?:

The first Boston Marathon race was held in 1897 and was only 24.5 miles.  It wasn’t until 1924 that it became the standard 26.2 mile distance.  Crazy right?!

[Related Post: Run Jen Run’s Marathon Monday Preview 2014]


  1. Great write-up of the weekend, the competitors and the surrounding activities! And thanks for cheering for me, Joe, Chris and Kelly!

    1. Thanks Stacey! I'm so excited for you! Enjoy every minute!