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Boston Marathon Announces 'Fastest And Most Decorated' Women's Professional Field In Race's History

BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced the women's professional racers for the 126th Boston Marathon Tuesday, describing it as the "fastest and most decorated field" in race history.

Among the participants will be reigning Olympic medalists Peres Jepchirchir and Molly Seidel, Paralympic marathon gold medalist Madison de Rozario and 3-time Boston Marathon wheelchair champion Manuela Schär.

This year's Boston Marathon will be the first race run on Patriots' Day since 2019. The 2020 race was canceled, and the 2021 event was held in the fall.

It also marks the 50th anniversary of the first official women's field. In 1972, the Boston Marathon included eight finishers in the women's division.

"As we look to celebrate the trailblazing women of 1972, we are delighted to welcome the fastest and most accomplished women's field in the history of the Boston Marathon," B.A.A. president and CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement. "Though there have been many milestones in the five decades since the women's division was established in Boston, this field of Olympic and Paralympic medalists, Boston champions, and global stars will make this a race to remember on Patriots' Day."

Jepchirchir will be making her Boston Marathon debut after winning the marathon gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics and the New York City Marathon crown.

"My high expectations is to be a winner and I would like to arrive at the day of the race in my best shape," Jepchirchir said. "I have time enough to prepare for it and I will do my best in training to be ready to run against some of the best marathon runners in the world."

Seidel said when she lived and trained in Boston, she became "totally enamored with the Boston Marathon."

"Every Patriots' Day I would go to Heartbreak Hill to watch the runners, and whenever I trained on the course I dreamed of getting to run the race someday," Seidel said. "There's something uniquely special about the Boston Marathon, and I absolutely can't wait to line up in Hopkinton this April for the race."

Schär and de Rozario have dominated the women's wheelchair division in recent years. Schär earned five Paralympic medals, including two gold, and won her third Boston Marathon in October. In the fall, de Rozario became the first Australian woman to win the New York City Marathon.

Schär holds the world record and Boston Marathon course record of 1:28:17, set in 2017.

"It's always very exciting to return to Boston," said Schär. "It will probably be the first race after a very intense 2021 season, so it will be good to see where I stand. I am very eager to return to the roads."

Five-time Boston winner and 20-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden is among the other competitors in the women's wheelchair division.

You can watch live coverage of the 126th Boston Marathon on WBZ-TV and CBS on Monday April 18, 2022.

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