The Kenyan broke the world mark at the Berlin Marathon last year.
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Marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang is headed to New York City for the 44th TCS New York City Marathon on November 2, organizers announced Wednesday. Kipsang leads a robust men’s field that includes past champions Geoffrey Mutai, Gebre Gebremariam and Meb Keflezighi, as well as Olympic gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich.
On the women’s side, it was announced that New York City’s own Buzunesh Deba and Kenya’s Mary Keitany will take the streets against reigning champion Priscah Jeptoo, 2011 winner Firehiwot Dado, 2010 champion (and two-time world champion) Edna Kiplagat and two-time victor Jelena Prokopcuka. World and European Championships silver medalist Valeria Straneo of Italy and Portugal’s Ana Dulce Félix and Sara Moreira will also race.
Americans Kara Goucher, Desiree Linden and Ryan Vail were among the top Americans announced earlier this week as competing.
“This year’s international field of past New York City Marathon champions, record-setters, and global championship medalists echoes the aspirational spirit of the TCS New York City Marathon—bringing the world together to celebrate the diversity of New York City and strive to achieve something bigger than ourselves—a global running community,” said New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg. “We’re proud to welcome Wilson, a world-renowned marathon icon; Buzunesh, the ultimate running ambassador for our City; and an unparalleled field to ‘get their New York on’ with every stride they take through the City’s five boroughs, as they lead runners from Staten Island to Central Park.”
Kipsang, 32, will be running his debut New York City Marathon, although he had come to New York for the race 2012 but was unable to compete when the event was cancelled due to Super Storm Sandy. In 2013, Kipsang raced successfully in New York, winning the NYC Half in 61:02. Later that year he’d set the marathon world record of 2:03:23 by winning the BMW Berlin Marathon.
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A bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympic Marathon, Kipsang has won seven marathons over the course of his career, most recently the Virgin Money London Marathon last April.
“I’m ‘getting my New York on!’” said Kipsang. “My preparations for the TCS New York City Marathon have begun, and every day before training I know that without self-discipline, success is impossible.”
Kipsang will try and defeat two-time defending champion Mutai, the fastest marathoner of all time with his 2:03:02 performance at the 2011 Boston Marathon (a performance that is not record eligible due to the course’s profile). Head-to-head, the pair has only faced off once at the 2014 London Marathon, where Kipsang won and Mutai was a disappointing sixth. Mutai is the New York City course record holder, having run 2:05:06 in 2011.
Seventeen countries are represented in the men’s international field for this year’s race, including four sub-2:05 men: Mutai, Kipsang, past champion Gebremariam (2:04:53) and London Marathon runner-up Stanley Biwott (2:04:55).
Returning are Olympic gold medalist Kiprotich (12th last year), South Africa’s Lusapho April (third in 2013) and Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi and Masato Imai (11th and sixth, respectively, a year ago). Micah Kogo, bronze medalist over 10,000m at the 2008 Olympics, Michael Kipyego, the 2012 Tokyo Marathon champion, and 2012 NYC Half winner Peter Cheruiyot Kirui round out the elite men from Kenya.
Also competing are Olympians Abderrahime Bouramdane (Morocco), Urige Buta (Norway), and Alistair Cragg (Ireland).
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For the women, Kenya’s Mary Keitany holds the fastest personal best, a 2:18:37 performance from the 2012 Virgin Money London Marathon. Keitany finished third at both the 2010 and 2011 New York City Marathons; last Sunday she won the BUPA Great North Run in 65:39, solidifying her return to form after giving birth to her second child last year.
Like Keitany, a number of women enter this year’s contest with experience racing through the five boroughs. Deba, 27, not only lives in the Bronx, but has finished runner-up in each of the past two editions. She seeks to become the first New York City resident to win since Kathrine Switzer in 1974.
“I’m excited for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon,” said Deba. “As they say, ‘the third time’s the charm.’ After having two previous years of successful experience, I believe this year will be the most exciting. I have been training very well and find myself in good shape. With the will of God, this year will be so perfect. I can’t wait to get back again on the streets of my hometown, New York City, and see the passion, love, and amusement of all my fans.”
Deba and Keitany are part of an elite women’s field that brings athletes from 11 countries together. Jeptoo and Kiplagat (Kenya) join past champions Dado (Ethiopia) and Prokopcuka (Latvia), all seeking to add another New York City Marathon win to their resume.
Italy’s Straneo, second at the European Championships Marathon last month, returns after placing fifth last year; Portugal’s Ana Dulce Felix comes back to New York as well, having set her personal best of 2:25:40 there in 2011.
Making their marathon debuts will be Portugal’s Sara Moreira and Morocco’s Rkia El Moukin.
The women’s event record of 2:22:31 was set by Kenya’s Margaret Okayo in 2003.