The reigning New York Marathon champion Mary Keitany will be putting her reputation and crown on the line when she lines up to defend her title on 5th November in New York.
Keitany won last year’s New York race in 2:24:26, well off the women’s course record of 2:22:31 that was set by Margaret Okayo also from Kenya in 2003.
The 35 year-old is a two-time winner of the World Marathon Majors, taking the series titles in 2012 and 2016.
This year, she won her third career London Marathon in April, breaking the women’s only marathon record in a blistering time of 2:17:01.
Keitany has won the New York Marathon each of the last three years, including a dominating performance last year in which she finished the course on a solo run in 2:24:26. Her 3:34 margin of victory was the greatest in the women’s race since 1980, and she became the first able-bodied runner since Grete Waitz to win the event three years in a row.
“I’m so excited to return to New York to race for my fourth consecutive title,” Keitany said.
“Being among the all-time leaders in New York is truly an honor, and while it will not be easy to defend my title, surpassing a legendary runner like Paula Radcliffe for the second-most victories by a woman in the event would be incredible.”
Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon said, “Having Mary return to the streets of New York to defend their titles among a group of athletes from 27 countries around the world is a true testament to the TCS New York City Marathon being one of the most world-class and universally diverse sporting events.”
The elite field will include Kenyans Edna Kiplagat and Betsy Saina. The 37-year old Kiplagat owns titles from the 2010 New York City Marathon, 2014 London Marathon and 2017 Boston Marathon. She is a three-time World Championship medallist, most recently taking silver at the IAAF World Championships London 2017.
Saina, 29, who finished fifth at the just concluded Great North Run will be making her her marathon debut.
They’ll be joined by Ethiopian Tigist Tufa, 30, who has lived in the Bronx, who finished third and eighth in her two previous New York City Marathon appearances in 2015 and 2013, respectively. She won the London Marathon in 2015 and was the runner-up in 2016.
The winner will pocket a cool $100,000 and $50,000 bonus when she breaks the course record.