This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
Here’s the field. Comments below.
Wilson Kipsang (KEN), 2:03:23, World-record holder
Emmanuel Mutai (KEN), 2:03:52, London Marathon record holder
Geoffrey Mutai (KEN), 2:04:15, 2013 New York City Marathon champion
Ayele Abshero (ETH), 2:04:23, 2012 Dubai Marathon champion
Feyisa Lilesa (ETH), 2:04:32, 2011 world bronze medallist
Tsegaye Kebede (ETH), 2:04:38, 2013 London Marathon champion
Stanley Biwott (KEN), 2:05:12, 2012 Paris Marathon champion
Marilson dos Santos (BRA), 2:06:34, Two-times New York City Marathon champion
Martin Mathathi (KEN), 2:07:16, 2013 Fukuoka Marathon champion
Stephen Kiprotich (UGA), 2:07:20, World and Olympic marathon champion
Samuel Tsegay (ERI), 2:07:28
Mustapha El Aziz (MAR), 2:07:55
Amanuel Mesel (ERI), 2:08:17
Scott Overall (GBR), 2:10:55
Ryan Vail (USA), 2:11:45
Mo Farah (GBR), Debut, World & Olympic 5000m & 10,000m champion
Ibrahim Jeilan (ETH), Debut, 2011 World 10,000m champion
Chris Thompson (GBR), Debut
Ben Livesey (GBR), Debut
Wow. That’s about all I can say. This is a loaded field. With the usual stipulations that this race is still 3 months out and the field will change before that time, right now, this looks like an amazing field. You have the world record holder, several major marathon champions, two Olympic champions, course record holders galore. Then, of course, you have the hometown hero. Assuming this field keeps its general form, this could be a great race.
Of course, this also makes me feel even more strongly that Kenenisa Bekele was wise to not run London as his debut. Look at this field and tell me where you think he’d finish. Again, assuming this field remains intact and remembering that this would be his debut marathon, I have trouble seeing a route to the top 5 for him in this kind of race. I would have pegged him around 7th or 8th in this field at best.