NEW YORK, September 19, 2013 — The professional field for the 2013 ING New York City Marathon on November 3 is set, New York Road Runners (a company I freelance for as host of On The Run) announced today. Headlined by defending champions, world champions and Olympic medalists, the race will include 23 Olympians from 23 countries, including some of America’s top marathoners. The race will also serve as the deciding showdown in the 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors series.
Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Firehiwot Dado are returning once again to defend their crowns from the 2011 ING New York City Marathon after the 2012 race was cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Mutai holds the men’s course record of 2:05:05. He also ran the fastest marathon in history at the 2011 Boston Marathon in 2:03:02, which does not qualify as a world record because the Boston course is not record-eligible per the International Association of Athletics Federations, which governs the sport of running worldwide. Mutai also won the 2011-2012 World Marathon Majors title.
“I am focused on New York,” Mutai told NYRR. “I feel I am already well prepared for the marathon on November 3. I am confident and looking forward to challenging myself with my own course record set in 2011.”
But Mutai will have to battle Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, the 2013 IAAF World Championships marathon winner and 2012 Olympic marathon gold medalist. He is only the second man in history to earn both titles, after Ethiopia’s Gezahegne Abera accomplished the feat in 2000 and 2001.
2009 ING New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi and Olympian Ryan Hall will lead the American professional field, along with Jason Hartmann, who finished fourth at the 2012 and 2013 Boston Marathons.
Keflezighi is America’s most decorated marathoner running today. He has a silver medal from the 2004 Olympic marathon and finished fourth at the 2012 Olympic marathon. He has finished in the top 10 at the ING New York City marathon six times, taking home the championship title in 2009.
“Running the ING New York City Marathon is always a great pleasure and honor for me,” Keflezighi said. “This year’s race will be extra-special because of the cancellation last year. As always, I will train and run to win.”
Hall is the U.S’s fastest marathoner. At the 2011 Boston Marathon, he ran 2:04:58, the fastest time ever posted by an America, but not record eligible because of Boston’s course. He holds the American record in the half marathon with a time of 59:43. Hall dropped out of the 2012 Olympic marathon with a hamstring injury.
“I have one goal in mind for this year’s ING New York City Marathon: redemption—restore what has been lost,” Hall told NYRR. “I have had my fair share of struggles since qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Marathon; however, those struggles are now behind me and the lessons learned are paving the path to what I hope is a very redemptive ING New York City Marathon. I am expecting this year’s race to be the most inspirational race in recent memory.”
Other notable professional men running the ING New York City Marathon this year are 2012 Boston Marathon winner Wesley Korir, 2012 Paris Marathon champion Stanley Biwott, 2012 NYC Half winner Peter Kirui, 2012 NYC Half runner-up Daniele Meucci, World Championships steeplechase medalist Bob Tahri and Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, famous in his home country as the “citizen runner.”
In the women’s race, defending champion Firehiwot Dado will take on Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat, the 2010 ING New York City Champion and a two-time marathon World Champion. Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo, the 2012 Olympic marathon silver medalist, will also be out for a win.
Dado has three consecutive victories at the Rome Marathon under her belt and won the 2012 NYC Half in course record time of 1:08:35.
Kiplagat is the reigning marathon World Champion. She’s the only woman who’s won that World Championships title two cycles in a row, in 2011 in Daegu and 2013 in Moscow.
Jeptoo is coming from victories at the 2013 London Marathon in April, where she bested Kiplagat who came in second, and 2013 Bupa Great North Run on September 15. She also has a World Championships silver medal from 2011, where she finished behind Kiplagat, in addition to her 2012 Olympic silver.
Winning the ING New York City Marathon could mean a $500,000 payday for either Kiplagat or Jeptoo, who currently sit in first and second, respectively, in the rankings for the World Marathon Majors, a two-year professional race series with a $1 million prize purse split between the top man and woman. New York will be the final race in the Majors competition.
“I had, of course, a wonderful experience to win the gold medal at Moscow last month, and now I am excited to finally be returning to NYC for the marathon,” said Kiplagat. “The New York spectators and the energy in the races I’ve done in New York have always been very exciting for me. After being second in the World Marathon Majors standings for two consecutive years, I will, of course, do my best to secure the title this year.”
Three of America’s top distance runners are also in the race. Olympian Julie Culley will make her much awaited marathon debut. The New Jersey native was set to run New York in 2012, but decided to hold off until 2013 after the race was canceled.
“I held out,” Culley told NYRR News Service. “If New York was going to be my first, then New York was going to be my first.”
Joining her are Olympians Amy Hastings and Janet Bawcom. Hastings just missed a spot on the U.S. Olympic marathon team after a fourth place finish at the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials. She rallied by winning a place on the Olympic team in the 10,000m and finished 11th in London in that event. Olympic teammate Janet Bawcom finished just behind in 12th.
American Olympian and World Championship medalist Kara Goucher, who was previously announced as part of the American field, has pulled out of the race due to a foot injury.
Also running in the women’s competition are two-time ING New York City Marathon champion Jelena Prokopcuka, 2011 ING New York City Marathon runner-up Buzunesh Deba, 2013 Osaka Marathon champion Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko, 2009 ING New York City Marathon bronze medalist Christelle Daunay, three-time Olympian Kim Smith of New Zealand, Brazilian record-holder Adriana Da Silva, and 2013 NYC Half runner-up Diane Nukuri-Johnson.
Watching The Race
The ING New York City Marathon will air nationally on November 3, 2013 on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes+ from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. In New York, ABC7 and 7online.com will air the race live from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A national highlights show will also air from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on ABC. New York Road Runners’ own On The Run, hosted by yours truly, will bring race week highlights, features and interviews with the pros in the days leading up the race at ontherun.nyrr.org.
Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runners’ show about running. Her work has been seen in Newsweek, RunnersWorld.com, Active.com, ABC-TV in New York and over two dozen other outlets. She has finished six marathons and four triathlons. Follow Karla at RunKarlaRun.com.