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12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon

Our editors break down who to follow at the most historic marathon in the world

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12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 1

The 2024 Boston Marathon is just one week away and has one of the most stacked elite lineups in the race’s history. With such strong men’s and women’s fields, there are countless storylines to follow. We’ve compiled a list of the most dominant and some underrated runners in the elite field that you’ll want to keep your eye on come race day.


We’ll be on-site at the 2024 Boston Marathon to bring you live updates beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Monday, April 15. Find our live updates on our homepage on race morning.


Key athletes to watch in The Women’s Race

12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 2

Hellen Obiri

KEN 🇰🇪
Age: 34
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:21:38 (Boston, 2023)
Half-marathon: 1:04:22 (UAE, 2022)

Highlights
🥈 2024 Houston Half Marathon
🥇 2023 New York City Marathon
🥇 2023 Boston Marathon
🥈 2022 World Athletics Championships – 10,000m
🥈 2020 Olympics – 5,000m
🥇 2019, 2017 World Athletics Championships – 5,000m

What To Watch For:
Obiri is a seasoned veteran of the highest order, now appearing to be at her apex as a road runner. She’s coming off a stellar 2023, with two wins in Boston and New York on tough courses. She was able to test out her speed in Houston, and now comes to Boston to defend her title and continue her winning streak at the Majors. Also keep an eye on what’s on her feet. She trains with the On Athletics Club in Boulder, Colo.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 3

Des Linden

USA 🇺🇸
Age: 40
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)
Half Marathon: 1:10:34 (Naples, USA, 2011)

Highlights
5th 2023 NYC Half
4th 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon
5th 2019 Boston Marathon
4th 2019 New York City Marathon
🥇 2018 Boston Marathon
2012 & 2016 Olympian

What To Watch For:
Despite entering the masters category last year, Linden has still been going strong. She’s a Boston veteran, entering for the 11th time after her monumental win in 2018. This year, Linden says a perfect day would include either a top-10 placing or a sub-2:26 (… or even better, both). She’s been dialling in on all the little things this year to leave no stone unturned as she prepares for this year’s stacked field. She already holds the American women’s masters marathon record of 2:27:35. Could she lower it?


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 4

Edna Kiplagat

KEN 🇰🇪
Age: 44
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:19:50 (London, 2012)
Half Marathon 1:07:41 (London, 2012)

Highlights:
🥉 2024 NYC Half
7th 2023 New York City Marathon
4th 2022 New York City Marathon
4th 2022 Boston Marathon
🥇 2021 Boston Marathon
🥈 2019 Boston Marathon
4th 2019 World Championships Marathon
🥇 2017 Boston Marathon

What To Watch For:
It will be a battle in the masters ranks as Kiplagat, a two-time Boston champion, will also be toeing the line. Kiplagat has had an epic start to her 2024 campaign, placing 3rd at the NYC Half and 6th at the Houston Half Marathon (where she also demolished the North American all-comers masters record). Being in the game for over 25 years, she still has hopes on making her way on to the podium. Making the move over to Puma last year, keep an eye on her feet, as the company’s been making moves in the women’s field with multiple podium appearances recently.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 5

Tadu Teshome

ETH 🇪🇹
Age: 22
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:17:36 (Valencia, 2022)
Half Marathon: 1:06:13 (Copenhagen, 2022)

Highlights:
8th 2023 London Marathon
5th 2023 Chicago Marathon
🥇 2022 Copenhagen Half Marathon
🥇 2022 Riyadh Marathon
🥇 2021 Barcelona Marathon

What To Watch For:
Keep your eyes out for Tadu Teshome. She’ll be one watch coming in with the fastest PR. Not only does she come in at the top of the field, but she’s probably got one of the most dramatic backstories of any elite runner. The 22-year-old nearly lost her leg during a storm as a child. Despite the doctor suggesting amputation, her mother insisted she be treated with traditional medicine, eventually saving her leg. Not only did her mother’s instinct save her leg, it also created one of Ethiopia’s best distance runners. But she’s never run a hilly course like Boston, as her best times have all come in flat, fast and paced races.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 6

Emma Bates

USA 🇺🇸
Age:
31
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:22:10 (Boston, USA, 2022)
Half Marathon: 1:11:13 (Pittsburgh, 2019)

Highlights:
5th 2023 Boston Marathon
7th 2022 World Championships Marathon
8th 2022 New York City Marathon
🥈 2021 Chicago Marathon

What To Watch For:
Bates will be coming to Boston hungry for a strong result. After a heartfelt announcement on Instagram in early January, Bates shared that she would not be lining up at the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Bates was widely considered a favorite for the trials, however, after tearing her plantar fascia in October during the Chicago Marathon, followed by posterior tibial tendonitis in December, she was not confident to adequately recover from her injuries in time for the race. She was in the mix deep into last year’s Boston Marathon, so keep an eye out for her hanging with the lead pack this year.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 7

Ababel Yeshaneh

ETH 🇪🇹
Age:
32
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:20:51 (Chicago, USA, 2019)
Half Marathon: 1:04:31 (UAE, 2020)

Highlights:
🥈 2024 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon
4th 2023 Boston Marathon
🥈 2022 Boston Marathon
🥉 2021 New York City Marathon

What To Watch For:
Yeshaneh is our dark horse for the Boston Marathon. Although she races sparingly, Yeshaneh broke the mixed-gendered half-marathon world record in 2020 and has racked up several podium results, including second at the 2022 Boston Marathon. Although she’s underperformed thus far time wise in the marathon, she knows Boston, and she knows how to run an unpaced hilly course.


Key Athletes to Watch in The Men’s Race

12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 8

Sisay Lemma

ETH 🇪🇹
Age:
32
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:01:48 (Valencia, 2023)
Half Marathon: 1:01:09 (Ankara, 2023)

Highlights:
🥇 2023 Valencia Marathon
🥈 2023 Prague Marathon
7th 2022 London Marathon
🥇 2021 London Marathon
🥉 2020 London Marathon
🥉 2020 Tokyo Marathon

What To Watch For:
Lemma has been on a meteoric rise recently. At the end of 2023, Lemma not only won the Valencia Marathon, running a time of 2:01:48, but he also shattered the previous course record of 2:01:53, which was set by the late Kelvin Kiptum in 2022. Since his tragic passing, many have speculated that the most likely candidate to break the sub-2 barrier would be Sissay Lemma.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 9

Evans chebet

KEN 🇰🇪
Age:
35
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:03:00 (Valencia, 2020)
Half Marathon: 1:01:59 (Porto, 2012)

Highlights:
🥇 2023 Boston Marathon
🥇 2022 New York City Marathon
🥇 2022 Boston Marathon
4th 2021 London Marathon
🥇 2020 Lake Biwa Mainchi Marathon
🥇 2020 Valencia Marathon

What To Watch For:
For Chebet, all roads lead to Boston. The 35-year-old has won the two most recent Boston Marathons and will be eyeing a historic three-peat. Not only that, Chebet was recently left off the Kenyan Olympic Marathon Team selection, despite a laundry list of palmares and a personal best of 2:03:00. However, a three-peat won’t be smooth sailing for Chebet as he’ll be up against some of the world’s best marathoners.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 10

Zouhair Talbi

MAR 🇲🇦
Age:
29
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:06:39 (Houston, USA, 2024)
Half Marathon: 1:00:41 (New York, 2024)

Highlights:
🥈 2024 New York City Half Marathon
🥇 2024 Houston Marathon
5th 2023 Boston Marathon
🥉 2023 New York City Half Marathon
🥉 2023 Boston Half Marathon

What To Watch For:
Talbi had a breakthrough year in 2023 and has been consistent ever since. He opened his season at the Houston Marathon, where he won, broke the course record, and ran a North American all-comers’ record. Weeks later, he took second place at the NYC Half. Known for being a gutsy runner, Talbi will be hoping to improve upon his 2023 Boston MAraton, where he placed 5th and potentially find himself a podium spot.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 11

CJ Albertson

USA 🇺🇸
Age:
30
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:10:07 (Orlando, USA, 2019)

Highlights:
5th 2024 USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon
🥇 2023 California International Marathon
🥇 2023 Maraton Baja California
10th 2021 California International Marathon
7th 2020 USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon

What To Watch For:
Albertson will be looking to make waves on home turf. The American made headlines last year after winning two marathons in the span of a week, running nearly identical times (within one second of each other). Albertson is no stranger to high mileage however, with his 50k world record of 2:38:43 recently being ratified by World Athletics. Albertson fell just short of his Olympic dreams, finishing 5th at trials, and will be hoping to redeem himself in Boston.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 12

Gabriel Geay

TAZ 🇹🇿
Age:
27
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:03:00 (Valencia, 2022)
Half Marathon: 59:42 (Houston, USA, 2020)

Highlights:
🥈 2023 Boston Marathon
5th 2023 Valencia Marathon
🥈 2022 Valencia Marathon
7th 2022 World Championships Marathon
4th 2022 Boston Marathon

What To Watch For:
Geay is preparing for an epic clash in Boston, going against the only one who topped him last year, Evans Chebet. Both Geay and Chebet have matching 2:03:00 PBs, ironically, both of which were set in Valencia, so there’s no telling which way this one will go. The only thing we can be certain of is the Geay will be looking to disrupt Chebet’s three-peat plans.


12 Athletes to Watch at the 2024 Boston Marathon 13

Albert Korir

KEN 🇰🇪
Age:
30
World Athletics Profile

Personal Bests:
Marathon: 2:06:57 (New York, USA, 2023)
Half Marathon: 1:09:13 (Kigali, 2014)

Highlights:
🥈 2023 New York City Marathon
4th 2023 Boston Marathon
7th 2022 New York City Marathon
6th 2022 Boston Marathon
🥇 2021 New York City Marathon
🥈 2019 New York City Marathon
🥇 2019 Ottawa Marathon
🥇 2019 Houston Marathon

What To Watch For:
Although he doesn’t have the shiniest PR, he’s tallied up quite a notable list of results. Coming off a second-place finish in the 2023 NYC Marathon, it’s clear that Korir doesn’t shy away from a tough course that’s difficult to pace. Be sure to keep an eye on him as he tries to push the pace and weed out the group early.


Photo of author
Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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