April, who finished 15th in Boston last year, was included in a strong 20-man elite field announced by the organisers on Tuesday for the 119th edition of the world’s oldest marathon, to be held in Massachusetts on April 20.
No South African has ever won the annual 42km race, which forms part of the World Marathon Majors series. “Last year I ran the course and I felt I could win the race,” April said. “I want to go back because I believe I have it in me to win.” The elite men’s field includes five athletes who have run under 2:05:00, spearheaded by former world record holder Patrick Makau of Kenya. Defending champion Meb Keflezighi is one of five former Boston winners who will toe the line.
The elite women’s field includes six women who have dipped under 2:22:00, led by Ethiopian Mare Dibaba, who clocked a personal best 2:19:52 to defend her title at the Xiamen Marathon in China earlier this month.