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119th Boston Marathon Preview: Gloomy Weather, But High Hopes For American Elites

BOSTON (CBS) – This is the day thousands of runners have been waiting months for – Boston Marathon Monday.

Historic amounts of snow and below average temperatures this past winter created a major problem for anyone training locally.

Related: Boston Marathon Guide

The good news is there will be no ice and no snow banks to worry about.

Watch: Boston Marathon Weather Forecast

The bad news is the forecast is cool, cloudy, rainy and windy.

Read: Roads Closed, MBTA Changes

Temperatures will be around 40 at the start in Hopkinton, peaking in the mid-40's later in the race. But the rain will get heavier into the afternoon.

Runners will also be heading into the wind, with gusts coming from the east at 15-to-35 miles per hour.

Check: Current Conditions | Interactive Radar | WBZ Weather Blog


This year's field will be smaller than 2014 with 30,000 runners leaving Hopkinton, down from 36,000.

The 30,000 is still the third-largest race in the event's history, behind 2014 and the Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996, which set the record for the largest field at 38,708 runners.

Related: Mile-by-Mile Course Guide

Many will be running for charity. A record $38.4 million was raised on behalf of more than 300 organizations last year, up from $20 million in 2013.

Read: 2015 Charity List


Some of the fastest marathoners in the world will lead the pack Monday, including five recent champions.

Meb Keflezighi
Meb Keflezighi wins the 2014 Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Meb Keflezighi , the defending champion and first American man to win the race since 1983, heads an impressive field of elite runners in the 119th Boston Marathon, which will be without last year's women's champion Rita Jeptoo.

Jeptoo, a three-time winner (2014, 2013, 2006), will not be racing after she failed a doping test last fall and was banned from the sport for two years.

The women will crown a new champion from the fastest field in their history, which includes 2012 winner Sharon Cherop and 2011 champ Caroline Kilel, both of Kenya.


Ten runners have personal best times under 2:23, including Americans Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila Linden and Amy Hastings.

Flanagan, a Marblehead native, finished fourth in 2013 and set a personal best last year finishing with a time of 2:22:02 in seventh place.  She later beat that time at the Berlin Marathon in 2:21:14.

Shalane Flanagan
Shalane Flanagan crosses the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Linden finished 10th in 2014 and second in 2011, battling down to the wire in one of the greatest finishes Boston has ever seen.

Hastings, who lives in Providence, was a college teammate of Linden at Arizona State. This is her first Boston Marathon. She finished second (2:27:03) in the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon.

While Keflezighi tries to become the first repeat American winner since Bill Rodgers, he'll have stiff competition in the men's elite field, which includes 2013 winner Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and 2012 champ Wesley Korir of Kenya.

Last year's second and third-place finishers, Wilson Chebet and Frankline Chepkwony, are also back.

Three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein will make his Boston debut in Monday's race. He is the third fastest U.S. marathoner of all time.

American Nick Arciniaga returns to Boston after finishing seventh last year and tenth in 2008.

Jeffrey Eggleston finished eighth in 2014 and will also be running Monday.

Boston Marathon 2014 Ernst Van Dyk
Ernst Van Dyk wins the 2014 Boston Marathon. (Photo credit: Greg Raso-WBZ-TV)

Ernst van Dyk of South Africa, the defending men's push rim wheelchair division winner, and Tatyana McFadden of Illinois, who is going for her third straight title in the women's push rim wheelchair division, will also return.


Each year a small number of celebrities run the marathon for charity.

'Rudy' star Sean Astin will race for Team MR8, which benefits the Martin Richard Charitable Foundation.

Uzo Aduba, from the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black," and Curt Schilling's wife Shonda, will run for Dana Farber.


Dick Hoyt will be the Grand Marshal of this year's race. He and his son Rick have been two of the marathon's most recognizable faces.

Dick and Rick Hoyt
Dick and Rick Hoyt after finishing their final Boston Marathon together, April 21, 2014. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Dick, 74, retired after completing last year's race, their 32nd Boston Marathon together.

Rick Hoyt, 54, a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, will be pushed this year by fellow Team Hoyt athlete Bryan Lyons.


The race begins with the mobility impaired field at 8:50 a.m. That's followed by the push rim wheelchair at 9:17 a.m. and handcycles at 9:22 a.m.

The elite women start at 9:32 a.m. The elite men and wave one begin at 10 a.m.

Wave two is at 10:25 a.m., wave three starts at 10:50 a.m. and wave four begins at 11:15 a.m.

WBZ-TV and WBZ NewsRadio 1030 are the only local stations with live wire-to-wire coverage of the 2015 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 20th.

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