Tag Archives: TCS New York City Marathon

Kenenisa Bekele to run two marathons in 42 Days

Kenenisa Bekele is still the only elite runner confirmed for the BMW Berlin Marathon which will be the first of two marathons in 42 days for the Ethiopian runner, who is also scheduled to race the TCS New York City Marathon on November 7, a grueling double that will mark Bekele’s first races since March 2020.

A look at the list of favourites shows quite clearly how much the world’s elite is also waiting for top notch races. None other than the running legend Bekele who will aim for victory on September 26. At the 2019 Berlin-Marathon, he clearly demonstrated with his time of 2:01:41 hours that he is always a force to be reckoned with.

“I will come back with good energy and motivation to Berlin-Marathon. The last race in Berlin motivated me a lot, so I hope I will fulfil my plan this year.” said Bekele. So, in many ways, the BMW Berlin-Marathon 2021 will be an event with historic sporting significance.

Bekele is a four-time Olympic medallist and 16-time world champion who will make his debut at the New York City Marathon on November 7 in the men’s open division. At the Athens 2004 Games, he won gold in the 10,000m and silver in the 5000m, and four years later in Beijing took gold in both distances. He won the 2019 Berlin Marathon in the second-fastest time ever, only two seconds off the world record time set by Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin the year prior.

“I am proud of the many accomplishments in my career, but I have never had the opportunity to compete in the TCS New York City Marathon,” Bekele said. “I am excited that 2021 will be the year for me to make my attempt in New York. Some of my greatest success has come in cross-country running, and I am told that the hills and turns of New York reward athletes with the strength that comes from running cross-country. I will do my best to join that great list of New York City champions.”

CAPE TOWN MARATHON BECOMES ABBOTT WORLD MARATHON MAJORS

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has officially been confirmed as an Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) candidate race – the first marathon in Africa to be nominated.

The announcement marks the commencement of a multi-year evaluation process conducted by AbbottWMM.
In order to become a Major, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be required to meet certain criteria for three years and if successful, will join an elite group of races – Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW-BERLIN Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon – as a new member of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2025.

“We have always believed that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon could be Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major, so becoming a candidate race is a tremendous honour”, said Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Chairman, Francois Pienaar at the announcement event at Cape Town Stadium.

“It acknowledges the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon as a global event that has consistently delivered a top quality world-class race, and one that continuously innovates and creates world-first initiatives like the immersive audio experience during the 2020 virtual race.

“Becoming an Abbott World Marathon Major would be like hosting a world championship event every single year, and achieving this status would be a tremendous boost for the city, country and continent. Africa is home to the best marathon runners in the world and we hope they will get the opportunity to run an Abbott World Marathon Major on home turf in the coming years.”

Headline sponsor Sanlam is celebrating its eighth sponsorship year and is equally thrilled at the prospect of the event becoming a jewel in the AbbottWMM crown.
Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Sanlam Brand, says: “This is our eighth year as headline sponsor of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and we have always believed deeply in the vision for this race – to become Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major. Africa is our home, this is our race and we are absolutely committed to investing in the potential of this wonderful continent. Our purpose is to help people across Africa live with confidence and this race is the perfect way to foster the growth of Africa’s economy, and to showcase our people’s unparalleled potential.  Creating a lasting legacy for generations to come is a vision and dream we share with all our partners.

“And now we are celebrating coming a step closer. The collective confidence that the continent will garner from hosting an event of this stature will deliver value in many ways, enabling us to benefit economically and socially from a world-class event. We extend our sincerest congratulations to all of our partners who have worked tirelessly to elevate the event to this level. We have no doubt that in just three short years, we will tick all the boxes and have the honour of hosting the continent’s first major on home soil.”

Cape Town is a port city on the tip of South Africa’s southwest coast that is overlooked by the world-renowned Table Mountain, an official New7Wonder of Nature. It is consistently rated as one of the world’s most beautiful cities and most popular tourist destinations – renowned for its exquisite natural beauty, sweeping vistas, beaches, family friendly activities and some of the best restaurants in the world.

Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato said that this candidacy means a lot for Cape Town, South Africa and Africa, and will further solidify the Mother City’s reputation as a sports capital. “We are proud to be the host of SA and Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidate and wholeheartedly support the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in the coming years.

“We know that these evaluation years will already offer a tremendous economic boost for Cape Town and its residents, and expect an annual influx of approximately 10,000 international athletes and their supporters in the coming years – especially once the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon earns Abbott World Marathon Major status. We can’t wait to welcome more recreational and elite marathoners to Cape Town; it’s time to show the world how we run a marathon to the African beat.”

Pienaar noted that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon already meets many of the requirements set by the Abbott World Marathon Majors, and that continued enhancements will be made to the race. This also includes a new strategic partnership with Infront, the media and marketing specialists who will join the event on this exciting journey, noted Pienaar. “We are pulling out all the stops to achieve these goals, and are excited to receive the support from our runners, spectators, sponsors and the City to make this dream a reality.”

Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Senior Vice President Personal & Corporate Fitness at Infront, said: “We are happy to become a shareholder of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and we fully buy into the ambition to reach AbbottWMM status by 2025. This is exciting news for the city of Cape Town, South Africa and Africa. Our direct involvement forms part of our growing ambition to further enter the African market and will both strengthen our relationship with the AbbottWMM as well as support future business opportunities.”

Added James Moloi, President of Athletics South Africa: “This is an important step in the history of road-running in the country and Africa as a whole. It will be a significant recognition which would elevate the race to another prestigious level.”

Tim Hadzima, Executive Director, Abbott World Marathon Majors said, “The Abbott World Marathon Majors are delighted to welcome the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon into the candidate process from 2022. This presents an exciting opportunity to expand our impact into Africa and further our mission to create, grow and support opportunities for all to discover the power of the marathon community. We look forward to working closely with the team in Cape Town as we start this journey together!”

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has been growing in popularity for the better part of the last decade, with its route offering spectacular ocean scenery and mountain views, while passing many of the City’s great attractions from its famous street art to its iconic historical features – including City Hall, where Nelson Mandela delivered his first public speech as a free man in 1990.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was awarded the prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Status for the fourth consecutive year in 2020 – the only marathon on the African continent and one of only a select group of marathons in the world to have this status.

In addition to the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, China’s Chengdu Marathon is also currently an AbbottWMM candidate race. The Singapore Marathon recently dropped out of the process.

The 2021 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is scheduled to take place on 17 October 2021. Entries are open at www.capetownmarathon.com.

Brigid Kosgei to defend her London marathon title

World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei will defend her London Marathon title that will be held on 3rd October in London.

The 27-year-old who won a silver Medal behind Peres Jepchirchir at the just concluded Tokyo Olympic Games will be aiming for her third consecutive London Marathon victory.

“Last year’s win was very special, particularly given what the whole world was going through – it was fantastic just to have the London Marathon organised and even more so to be the winner,” Kosgei was quoted saying in a statement from the race organisers.

The Elgeyo-Marakwet County born beat the previous world record set 16 years by Paula Radcliffe by 1 minute 24 seconds in Chicago in 2019.

Kosgei will be, racing again just eight weeks after the very testing conditions of the Olympic Games marathon in Sapporo, will be challenged by reigning TCS New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and six other women who have run under two hours and 20 minutes.

The elite women’s field includes Ethiopians Roza Dereje (ETH), whose PB of 2:18.30 makes her the tenth-fastest female marathoner of all time, and Birhane Dibaba of a PB of 2:18.35, who won the Tokyo Marathon in 2018 and 2015 and finished second in the same race on three other occasions (2020, 2017 and 2014).

Valary Jemeli also from Kenya has been included in the star studded list carrying on her shoulder a personal best of 2:19.10, that she got at the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon. Ethiopia’s Zeineba Yimer  and Tigist Girma who have 2:19.28 and 2:19.50 are also lined up for the top honors battle.

Also included is Australia’s Sinead Diver, who has had two top 10 Virgin Money London Marathon finishes in the past two years and was tenth at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Bernard Lagat to debut at New York City Marathon

Bernard Lagat, a five-time Olympian who in Rio became the oldest U.S. Olympic runner in history, will make his marathon debut in New York on Nov. 4.

“A few years ago, I was able to watch the  from one of the lead vehicles, and I knew that when I ran a marathon someday, I wanted it to be in New York,” the 43-year-old Lagat said, according to a press release.

Lagat retired from track racing after placing fifth in the Rio Olympic 5000m, where he was briefly a bronze medalist before two disqualifications were overturned. Lagat previously earned Olympic 1500m silver and bronze competing for Kenya in 2000 and 2004.

If Lagat continues racing marathons through 2020, he could try to tie Angolan João N’Tyamba‘s record for Olympic participation’s by a male runner at six and become the fourth-oldest Olympic male runner.

“My mind isn’t going that far yet,” Lagat said, according to SI.com. “I’m just going to take this one at a time. My training partners have asked me, ‘If you are successful in New York, will you run the marathon for 2020?’ and I say, ‘I don’t know.’

“I want to get ready for New York City first, and whatever happens there will determine 2020.”

Lagat finished 31st in the world half marathon championships on March 24.

Lagat joins a New York field that includes defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya, two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and four-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman.

Keitany targets to regain New York Marathon title

Kenyan Mary Keitany will be targeting a fourth victory at the TCS New York City Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label race, on 4 November.

Keitany and her compatriot, 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot, will join previously announced Shalane Flanagan, the 2017 winner, and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden of the US in a race that features 10 Olympians and three Abbott World Marathon Majors race champions.

Keitany, 36, is the women’s only marathon record-holder who finished runner-up in this race last year after notching three successive titles. In 2016, she had a dominating performance in which she surged ahead at Mile 14 to finish 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 was disappointed not to defend my title last year, but I was not 100 percent healthy and Shalane ran a strong race,” said Keitany, the 2012 and 2016 World Marathon Majors champion. In April 2017, Keitany won her third London Marathon title, breaking the women’s only marathon record in a blistering time of 2:17:01.

Joining Keitany from the international side will be two Ethiopians, reigning IAAF World Half Marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta and Mamitu Daska, who finished third in New York last year.

Molly Huddle, who was third in New York in 2016, 2018 Boston Marathon runner-up Sarah Sellers, 2016 New York runner-up Sally Kipyego, and 2017 fifth-place finisher Allie Kieffer are also in the line-up.

Kamworor and Flanagan to defend their New York City Marathon titles

Reigning TCS New York City Marathon champions Geoffrey Kamworor and Shalane Flanagan will defend their titles at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday 4 November.

At last year’s race, Kamworor claimed his first major marathon victory while Flanagan became the first US woman to win in New York since Miki Gorman did so in 1977.

Kamworor held off compatriot Wilson Kipsang down the final turns in Central Park to win last year. The 2015 runner-up separated himself from the field with a 4:31 penultimate mile to finish in 2:10:53.

The Kenyan has won the past three IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and recorded three consecutive sub-2:07 performances at the Berlin Marathon from 2012-2014, with his 2:06:12 clocking from 2012 remaining his personal best.

“Racing once more in the TCS New York City Marathon means so much to me,” said the three-time world cross-country champion. “It is my favourite race, and although thousands of miles separate my training base in Kaptagat, Kenya to New York, the event feels like home.”

Flanagan ended a 40-year drought for US women at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon by seizing the crown from Kenya’s Mary Keitany with a time of 2:26:53. With her first victory in just her second appearance at the New York City Marathon – she was runner-up in her marathon debut in 2010 – Flanagan became the sixth US women’s champion in the event.

The 16-time national champion and Olympic silver medallist will join previously announced Des Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon champion, and Allie Kieffer, the fifth-place finisher at last year’s TCS New York City Marathon.

“When I think about returning to race in New York City, I’m flooded with magical memories,” said Flanagan. “My heart skips a beat, I get butterflies in my stomach, and my palms get sweaty. New York City is incredibly special to me. It’s where I ran my first marathon in 2010, placing second, and of course, my dream-come-true moment in 2017 when I won.”

Stage set for Abbott World Marathon Majors Series finale

There is plenty to play for as we reach the conclusion of Series XI of the Abbott World Marathon Majors at the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for many of the world’s greatest marathon athletes, and after six races we are still unclear as to who will scoop the $250,000 top prize on 22 April.

The Series got underway in spectacular style in the English capital as Mary Keitany scorched her way to a women’s only world record of 2:17:01, beating Paula Radcliffe’s mark of 2:17:42 set in 2005.

Daniel Wanjiru made it a Kenyan double in the open division with his win in the men’s race and there was home crowd delight as David Weir took his seventh London wheelchair title, beating Marcel Hug in a hard-fought sprint along The Mall. Manuela Schär claimed the women’s crown to begin a dominant Series for the Swiss racer.

The open Series made a quick return to London in the summer, as it encompassed the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships, where Geoffrey Kiriu of Kenya maintained the form he had shown to win the 2017 Boston Marathon to take the gold and 25 points on offer in the Abbott WMM competition. Rose Chelimo of Bahrain was the women’s champion, beating the veteran Edna Kiplagat into second place as she crossed the finish line on Tower Bridge.

The Series then recommenced in the rain of Berlin where the stage had been set for a tussle between three of the best men in marathon history as Series IX and X champion Eluid Kipchoge faced off against Series VII king Wilson Kipsang and Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele, who had finished second in London in the spring.

The contest provided the perfect stage for the world record to tumble, but Bekele and Kipsang could not last the distance in the German capital and dropped out to leave Kipchoge in a shoot-out with surprise package Guye Adola. The Kenyan legend won the battle of wits and eased to his first win of the Series.

Gladys Cherono took the women’s title with a 22-second margin over Ethiopian Ruti Aga, and there was a second win of the women’s wheelchair Series for Schär, who was matched by her compatriot Hug in the men’s race.

Schär would not get it all her own way in the next stop for the Series at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, as a resurgent Tatyana McFadden edged a sprint finish with training partner Amanda McGrory, the Swiss star just two seconds behind them. No such problems for Hug who was crowned Chicago champion for the second time with a sprint victory over Australia’s Kurt Fearnley.

In the open division, Tirunesh Dibaba claimed her maiden Abbott WMM race win to add to her second in London, while the USA was able to celebrate its first male winner in Chicago since 2002 when Galen Rupp, former training partner to Mo Farah, ran away from the pack with three miles to go to take the tape and fire himself into Series contention.

The American fairytale was to continue on the damp streets of New York City, but this time in the women’s division. In a race dominated in recent years by Keitany, the Kenyan was beaten by Shalane Flanagan in a memorable run that saw the Boston-born athlete punching the air with delight as she romped home through Central Park.

There was a Kenyan one-two in the men’s race, with Geoffrey Kamworor just about holding off the late-charging Wilson Kipsang to win his first Abbott WMM race.

Manuela Schär returned to the top of the podium in the women’s wheelchair race, turning the tables on McFadden and matching Hug who claimed the men’s wheelchair race.

Kipsang was the firm favourite to finally claim a win in this Series in Tokyo when the show rolled into the Japanese capital in February.

But the 36-year-old succumbed to an illness picked up prior to the race and stepped off the road just 17km into proceedings. Kipsang’s withdrawal opened the door for his compatriot Dickson Chumba to run away from the field and claim a second Tokyo title.

The roars were arguably louder for the man who followed him home, however, as Yuta Shitara smashed the Japanese national record and Asian record, having carved his way from fifth to second in the late stages. Birhane Dibaba also scooped her second Tokyo victory in the women’s race.

There was more home joy in the men’s wheelchair tussle as 51-year-old Hiroyuki Yamamoto made a daring early break stick. With just Tomoki Suzuki for company, Yamamoto rounded the final bend on one wheel before out-muscling his younger compatriot for a famous victory. 

Manuela Schär again proved head and shoulders above her competition with her fourth win in five Series races to establish an unassailable lead, McFadden coming home over a minute behind her rival.

And so as we head for Boston and – just six days later ¬– close the Series in London, the wheelchair spoils are largely decided with Schär and Hug both uncatchable.

But there is the potential for drama aplenty in both open divisions.

Flanagan can take a commanding position in the fight for the Series XI title if she can claim victory in Boston on 16 April.

The American scored 25 points with her win at the TCS New York City Marathon, and can move to 50 with a second triumph of the campaign.

A first place for Flanagan would deny a third Series crown for Keitany when she mounts the defence of her London title.

The Kenyan is now hunting Paula Radcliffe’s male pacemaker-assisted time of 02:15:25 in London. But Keitany’s defeat to Flanagan in Central Park last November means the Marblehead native has a better head-to-head record than the two-time Series champion.

With only the top two results counting for open division athletes, that win for Flanagan on the streets of New York City means if both women end up with two wins apiece, we will have the first American women’s champion in the history of the Series.

But Flanagan, who missed last year’s Boston Marathon with a stress fracture in her back, will have her work cut out if she is to make it to that Boylston Street Finish Line ahead of the pack.

Alongside a formidable-looking American field, defending champion Edna Kiplagat will be desperate to repeat her success of 2017. The veteran Kenyan can take a share of the lead on 41 points if she can claim the spoils on Patriots Day.

World champion Chelimo, Berlin winner Cherono and Chicago champ Dibaba are all due to be on the start line in London, too and will all still have a shot at the title.

On the men’s side, Geoffrey Kirui, who is also seeking to retain his status as Boston champion after rounding off Series X with a win there, can move to 50 points with victory after being crowned world champion last summer in London. 

The same goes for Rupp who can also make it two wins from two appearances.

A win for either will leave it down to one of Kipchoge or Wanjiru to match them in London. In that scenario, there will have been no head to head between the only two men on 50 points, forcing a vote by the six race directors to find the men’s Series XI winner. Should neither Kipchoge or Wanjiru secure first or second place 22 April, and Rupp and Kirui both miss out in Boston, the door is open for the likes of Bekele and Adola to sneak into first place. Calculators at the ready.

Source: virginmoneylondonmarathon.com