Mary Keitany – the winner of the women’s race at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon – will be looking to add a fourth TCS New York City Marathon title to her glittering CV on Sunday.
Victory would also ensure the 35-year-old Kenyan reclaims her position at the top of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) Series XI leaderboard from her Ethiopian adversary Tirunesh Dibaba who was runner-up to Keitany in London and then went on to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last month.
Keitany, who has won in New York for the past three years, will be racing her first marathon since winning the London Marathon in a stunning time of two hours 17 minutes and one second back in April – the second fastest time ever in an all-female race.
Her main rival in the Big Apple is likely to be Edna Kiplagat who was second at this year’s Boston Marathon and then runner-up at the 2017 World Championships in London – a result that places her fifth in the AWMM Series XI standings.
The Ethiopian challenge will be led by 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Mare Dibaba who did not finish this year’s London Marathon but returned to the capital to finish eighth in the World Championships marathon this summer.
American fans will be getting behind home favourite Shalane Flanagan who was runner-up in New York in 2010 and sixth in last year’s Olympics.
In a hard-to-predict men’s race, defending champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (Eritrea) will again be one of the favourites. Unlike the London Marathon, New York does not have pacemakers and Ghebreslassie, the former World Champion, has proved himself one of the best marathon runners in the world in championship and unpaced races.
If the pace is fast, however, then the former world record holder Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) is likely to be the man to beat. The 35-year-old, two-time London Marathon winner was a late entrant to the elite field in New York after dropping out of the Berlin Marathon at the 30 kilometre point.
Another name to watch out for will be the Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor who has two World Cross Country titles and two World Half Marathon victories to his name.
No one from the AWMM Series XI leaderboard is in the men’s field so there will be some new names in the standings come Sunday evening.
- Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) 25 points
- Daniel Wanjiru (Kenya) 25 points
- Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) 25 points)
- Galen Rupp (USA) 25 points
- Abel Kirui (USA) 20 points
- Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) 41 points
- Rose Chelimo (Bahrain) 25 points
- Mary Keitany (Kenya) 25 points
- Gladys Cherono (Kenya) 25 points
- Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) 16 points