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Boston Marathon: Who To Watch

Don’t watch many marathons? You’re not alone. Here’s Metro’s guide to who could cross the finish line first today.

1 Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot: “The Champion”

All eyes will be on the defending champ, who set a course record last year in 2:05:52. The 22-year-old isn’t related to four-time winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, by the way.

2 Ryan Hall: “Captain America”

A 28-year-old Stanford grad, Hall is certain to be a fan favorite today: No American man has won Boston since Greg A. Meyer in 1983. Hall ran 2:08:41 to finish fourth last year, but his offseason was shaky this time.

3 Geoffrey Mutai: “Always a Bridesmaid”

This 26-year-old Kenyan was sharp at Rotterdam and Berlin last year, but finished second both times to Patrick Makau. Lucky for Mutai, Makau isn’t running today.

4 Gebre Gebremariam: “The Natural”

A native of Ethiopia, Gebremariam knows something about running strong in New England:?He won both the Falmouth Road Race and Beach to Beacon 10K last year. He took the 2010 New York Marathon, too.

5 Evans Cheruiyot:“The Other Other Cheruiyot”

Injuries have kept this 28-year-old Kenyan from fulfilling his potential on Boylston Street, but he’s got talent to burn. Consider him a strong dark horse pick.

US threat in the women’s race, too

Today’s women’s Boston Marathon has a Ryan Hall of its own.

Kara Goucher, 32, has a real shot of being the first American female to win Boston since Michigan’s Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985.

The third-place finisher in 2009, Goucher is running her first marathon since the birth of her son in September.

To win, she’ll have to best a deep field, including 2010 champion Teyba Erkesso, returning runner-up Tatyana Pushkareva, super talent Florence Kiplagat and four-time winner Catherine Ndereba.

 
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