Athletics record holder Kipchoge makes headlines on the stacked Boston Marathon field

(Reuters) – World record holder Eliud Kipchoge makes headlines in front of a star-studded Boston Marathon field on Monday as the world’s oldest 26.2-mile race takes on a somber tone 10 years after a bomb attack near the finish line.

Survivors, first responders and other members of the public gathered in Boston Saturday to honor the victims of the Marathon bombing, one of the highest-profile attacks on US soil that killed three and injured scores more.

A shattered community came together after the attack and adopted the slogan “Boston Strong” to show unity and resilience.

“This year, I’m reflecting on the importance of moving on in the face of pain and setback,” Tania Del Rio, director of Boston’s coordinated response team, said in a statement.

“As we celebrate ten years since the marathon in 2013, we run to keep our departed loved ones in our thoughts and hearts.”

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kipchoge, a man who needs no introduction after unofficially becoming the first to run a marathon in under two hours in 2019, is aiming to add a title in Boston to his 10 World Marathon Major wins.

On his Boston debut, he will face a tough challenge from his compatriots, defending champion Evans Chebet and 2021 winner Benson Kipruto, as well as Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, the 2019 world champion who won Boston in 2015 and 2013.

Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso, who produced the third-fastest marathon of all time in Valencia late last year, is leading a fast women’s field that includes two-time Major winner Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya and Ethiopia’s world champion Gotytom Gebreslase.

Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat will be fighting for her third title in Boston alongside her former champions, American Des Linden and Ethiopian Atsede Baysa, who will also compete.

The 127th running of the Boston Marathon begins on Monday, April 17 at 9:02 am ET (1302 GMT) with the men’s wheelchair division.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York, additional reporting by Gerardo Gomez)

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