American triathlete Gwen Jorgensen will ditch the swim and bike legs of the three-discipline event and run the New York City marathon in November. The 30-year-old won the women’s triathlon at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Jorgensen, a multiple-time world triathlon series champion, was a standout runner at the University of Wisconsin. There, she ran 15:52 for 5,000m and 33:38 for 10,000m on the track. Wisconsin is known as a running powerhouse in the United States. Canadians Simon Bairu and Mo Ahmed, who finished fourth in the men’s 5,000m at the 2016 Olympics, graduated from Wisconsin.
The Waukesha, Wis. will make her marathon debut at the Nov. 6 race, the world’s largest marathon. New York Road Runners announced on Aug. 24 that the Olympic gold medallist will be featured in the women’s elite field.
“This has been such an incredible year for me, and I thought what better way to continue to challenge myself than by running my first marathon,” said Jorgensen. “The triathlon will always be my first love, but I am really looking forward to the marathon and cannot think of a better place to make my debut than New York City.”
Jorgensen is expected to race a triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico in September so it’s unclear how much marathon-focused training she will do ahead of NYC. At the Olympics, Jorgensen ran 34:09 for 10K, on a technical course, after swimming 1,500m and biking 40K.
The St. Paul, Minn. resident is among the women’s elite field which indicates that she will be running competitively. She told The New York Times that “she was planning not only to complete the New York City marathon but to compete in it.”
The race attracts some of the world’s best runners and is one of six events part of the World Marathon Majors.
Americans Molly Huddle and Kim Conley will also be making their marathon debuts building off solid careers in the 5,000m and 10,000m. Huddle is the American record holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m. There are no Canadians currently on the men’s or women’s elite start lists.
With files from Triathlon Magazine Canada.