Meb Keflezighi hopes to be the first American man to repeat as Boston Marathon champion as the 119th running of the prestigious race takes place Monday.
Keflezighi’s victory, one year after the twin bomb attack that killed three people at the finish line, helped to lift the spirits of racing fans. The last American man to win consecutive marathons as part of Patriot Day celebrations was Bill Rodgers, who won the last of the three straight in 1980.
“Last year, nobody had good chances for me to win,” Keflezighi said according to NBC Sports. “I think the chances are higher, at least according to others, this year than it was last year.”
Keflezighi faces a very difficult men’s field headlined by Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa, who’s favored to win, especially with Kenyan greats Dennis Kimetto, Emmanuel Mutai, and Wilson Kipsang not participating, NBC reported.
One the women’s side, Ethiopia sends out top competitors Mare Dibaba and Buzunesh Deba. Both came in second to three time Boston winner and last year’s champ Rita Jeptoo, but she cannot participate this year.
In January, the Kenyan great was banned for two years after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug.
As is tradition, the race begins from Main Street in Hopkinton and winds its way 26.2 miles through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton and Brookline before the finish at the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square. According to the AP, 30,000 racers are expected to line up, which is down from last year's 36,000 total.
Top competitors on the women’s side will start the race at 9:32 a.m. ET, follwed by the men and the first of four big waves at 10 a.m.
Start Time: Pre-race coverage begins at 7 a.m. ET and the race starts off a 9 a.m.
TV Channel: WBZ-TV, or CBS Boston
Live Stream Info: You can watch the race live via CBS Boston here.