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The Gavel's Guide to the 2018 Boston Marathon

Make a right on April 14 and a left on April 15 and you’ll come face-to-face with April 16 — Marathon Monday. With the most anticipated day of the year at Boston College right around the corner, The Gavel wants to bring you up to date on some of the fastest runners lining up in Hopkinton this year.

Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat, both from Kenya and the male and female winners of the 2017 Boston Marathon, will be competing again in 2018 to try to defend their titles. In 2017, Kirui finished in 2:09:37, twenty-one seconds ahead of American Galen Rupp in second place. Kiplagat finished at 2:21:52, almost a full minute ahead of second-place finisher Rose Chelimo of Bahrain.

Runners in the American professional field have been preparing for the considerable feat on Monday by competing in shorter races, allowing them to maintain form and attitude before Boston.

Last year’s third-place finisher Jordan Hasay will look to move up in the ranks this year, especially after obtaining her personal best at the Chicago Marathon in October. Despite also finishing third in Chicago, she shaved two minutes off her 2017 Boston time, showing promise for this year’s marathon.

Fellow American Molly Huddle, a two-time Olympian, will make her Boston Marathon debut this year at the age of 33. In the 2016 New York City Marathon, she finished third with a time of 2:28:13. After only running a single marathon before April 16, Huddle will face the challenge of competing against much more experienced marathoners.

More recently, Huddle and Rasay competed in the Houston Half Marathon in January. At this race, Huddle set the American record at 1:07:25 and Hasay finished over a minute later.

As for the American men, Rupp will look to take the top spot this year after finishing second in 2017. In March, Rupp ran the Huawei Roma Ostia Half Marathon in a personal best of 59:47. Six months after Boston, Rupp went on to win the Chicago Marathon in October, giving him a personal boost as he looks ahead to the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Also, be sure to look out for the wheelchair and handcycle participants. Marcel Hug and Manuela Schar, both from Switzerland, will look to remain at the top of the wheelchair participants. In 2017, Hug finished in 1:18:04, while Schar finished in 1:28:17.

In the handcycle category, Tom Davis of New York, who finished in under an hour last year, will try to hold onto his crown in 2018.

In addition to these professionals, be on the lookout for Boston College runners as they pass Mile 21. Read up on some of the students running this year here.

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