Boston, Massachusetts – Dire Tune plans to reverse last year’s shocking loss while her Ethiopian compatriot Deriba Merga hopes to defend his title when the 114th edition of the Boston Marathon gets underway here on Monday. 

Dire, the 2008 winner, suffered a heart wrenching loss last year when Salina Kosgei of Kenya used a last-second surge to edge her for the women’s title, finishing just one second ahead of her (2:32:17), the closest finish in the history of the race. 

Deriba Merga, the defending champion was born in Nekemt, Oromia region of Ethiopia, almost 30 years ago. He is known in the Ethiopian athletics circle as a person who speaks his mind and show great confidence. He is equally admired for making a wise choice switching to marathon, after analyzing the difficulty to break into the Ethiopian national 5,000 & 10,000 team. He is obviously determined to defend his title and win the $150,000 prize money along the way.   

The Ethiopian team includes:

Men:   (Best Time)

Deriba Merga (2:06.38), Gashaw Asfaw (2:08.03), Chala Dechase (2:06.33) and Tekeste Kebede (2:07.52) 


Teyba Erkesso (2:23.53), Weyneshet Girma (2:29.50), Meseret Legesse (2:31.37), Dire Tune (2:24.40) and Koren Yal (2:28.41) 

Past Ethiopian Champions:


1989      Abebe Mekonnen     2:09.06

2005      Hailu Negussie         2:11.45

2009      Deriba Merga           2:08.42


1997      Fatuma Roba          2:26.23

1998      Fatuma Roba          2:23.21

1999      Fatuma Roba          2:23.25

2008      Dire Tune                2:25.25


Prize Money: (Top 5)

Place Men Women  
1 $150,000 $150,000  
2 $75,000 $75,000  
3 $40,000 $40,000  
4 $25,000 $25,000  
5 $15,000 $15,000  


Bonus to break World Record:

Men:      Record held by Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia)

Bonus= $50,000

Women: Record held by Paula Radcliff (England)

Bonus= $25,000

Bonus to break Boston Marathon Record

Men:      Record held by Robert K. Cheruiyot (Kenya)

Bonus= $25,000

Women: Record held by Maragaret Okayo (Kenya)

Bonus= $25,000