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Top Runners Goucher, Davila To Headline 2011 Boston Marathon

The elite women start the 114th running of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., April 19. (AP)
The elite women start the 114th running of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., April 19. (AP)

The field for next year's Boston Marathon is taking shape, at least as far as American runners are concerned. The marathon's principal sponsor, John Hancock Financial, says Kara Goucher and Desiree Davila will headline the elite women's American team in the 115th running of the race on April 18, 2011.

In this year's race, Goucher's front-running effort against Ethiopia’s Dire Tune and the eventual winner, Kenya’s Salina Kosgei, helped to produce a very tight finish. Goucher was third, and Tune second, as just nine seconds separated the three runners.

Goucher, who trains with former Boston champion Alberto Salazar, has the third-fastest time ever by an American woman in the marathon, 2:25:53. Davila is fourth on that list, at 2:26:20. Only Olympians Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit-Samuelson have run faster times. Davila and Goucher are working toward the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London.

"My return to running has gone very well," said Goucher, who gave birth to a son in September, "and I can't think of a better place than Boston to pick up where I left off. The 2009 Boston Marathon stands as the highlight of my career. I wished I could have won but I did the best I could and Boston embraced me for that."

Davila has the fasted time by an American woman in the marathon this year. She was an All-American in cross country and track at Arizona State University.

The two women have their sights set on history. No American woman has won the Boston Marathon since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985.

The last American man to win was Greg Meyer in 1983, but Ryan Hall is also coming back for another try next year. Hall finished fourth this year and third in 2009.

Hall is the second fastest American marathoner of all time, with a time of 2:06.17.

This program aired on December 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Alex Ashlock Twitter Producer, Here & Now
Alex Ashlock has been a producer for Here & Now since 2005. He started his WBUR career as senior producer of Morning Edition in 1998.

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