BOSTON (CBS) — Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat are coming back to Boston to defend their crowns in 2018.

The 2017 Boston Marathon winners will be back for the 122nd running of the famous race, principal sponsor John Hancock announced on Wednesday.

winnerswithwade Kenyas Kirui, Kiplagat Will Defend Boston Marathon Crowns In 2018

2017 women’s marathon winner Edna Kiplagat and men’s marathon winner Geoffrey Kirui, both of Kenya, with WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton and David Wade. (Photo: E.Fisher/WBZ)

Kirui won the 2017 Boston Marathon with a finish time of 2:09:37. He held off Galen Rupp of Oregon down the stretch, never looking back once he hit Mile 23. It was his first Boston Marathon and just his third marathon overall, but it kicked off a very successful year for the Kenyan, who later won a gold medal at the World Championship.

“2017 was a wonderful year for me with winning both Boston and the World Championships,” said Kirui. “I’m happy to return to Boston to defend my title. The tremendous atmosphere, the great history and legendary course all suit me very well.”

Kiplagat finished the 2017 race in 2:21:52, the fourth fastest women’s winning time in the history of the Boston Marathon. She recently closed the 2017 race season with a strong fourth-place finish at the New York City Marathon.

“I am so happy to accept the invitation from John Hancock to return to Boston next year as the defending champion of this historic race,” said Kiplagat. “After racing all around the world, it was so special for me to run on Boston’s historic course and experience the Boston traditions with my family. I could see first-hand how special the city of Boston, all the towns along the course, and the community is to so many people. And of course, I look forward to the challenge next April of once again racing against the world’s best athletes.”

The 122nd running of the Boston Marathon will take place on April 16, 2018.

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