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Six runners to watch for at the 2017 New York City Marathon

There are some deep fields among the professional ranks at the 2017 New York City Marathon. Here's who stands out in the crowd

New York City Marathon Preview
New York City Marathon Preview
Photo: courtesy of NYRR.

Buckle up, because Sunday’s New York City Marathon could be a wild race.

The world’s largest marathon, some 51,000 finishers are expected, features two incredibly deep fields including several strong Americans who could make it onto the podium. Both elite fields have some of today’s top marathoners including Mary Keitany and Wilson Kipsang, the two fastest runners, on paper.

RELATED: How to watch the 2017 New York City Marathon.

Sunday’s race gets underway at 9:20 a.m. EST with the professional women’s field. The men’s field and mass start follows at 9:50 a.m. EST from Staten Island with a finish in Central Park 42.2K later, passing through New York City’s five boroughs. The NYC Marathon is the last of the calendar year’s Abbott World Marathon Majors, a collection of big-city races across the globe.


Mary Keitany – Kenya (PB: 2:17:01)

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A dominant figure in the women’s marathon, Mary Keitany is the three-time defending New York City champion and the second-fastest woman of all-time. The Kenyan ran 2:17:01 at the 2017 London Marathon – a women’s-only world record – and is looking for her fourth NYC Marathon title. The women’s course record in the Big Apple is 2:22:31.

Edna Kiplagat – Kenya (PB: 2:19:50)

Edna Kiplagat
Photo: Michael Doyle.

The 2017 Boston Marathon champion is racing her third 42.2K of the year after winning silver at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. The two-time IAAF world marathon champion won the New York City Marathon in 2010 and can become the first woman since 1989 to win both Boston and New York in the same calendar year if she triumphs on Sunday.

Shalane Flanagan – United States (PB: 2:21:14)

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An Olympic silver medallist in the 10,000m, Shalane Flanagan is racing her first marathon of 2017 after pulling out of Boston because of a stress fracture in her back. The American, a bronze medallist at the 2011 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships, is the best chance for a domestic winner on Sunday.

Other notables

Mare Dibaba (2:19:56 marathoner), Buzunesh Deba (2:19:59 marathoner) and Betsy Saina (30:07.78 10Ker)


Wilson Kipsang – Kenya (PB: 2:03:13)

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The most consistent sub-2:04 performer in history, Wilson Kipsang is racing his second marathon in two months. In Berlin in September, Kipsang, 35, dropped out at exactly 30K. He won the 2017 Tokyo Marathon in 2:03:58. Kipsang won the New York City Marathon in 2015.

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie – Eritrea (PB: 2:07:46)

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A world champion in 2015 before the age of 20, the Eritrean is the defending New York City champion. The 21-year-old doesn’t have the best PB in the field, and it’s not close, but is known for his racing tactics, winning NYC in 2016 without pacers and the world championships marathon in 2015 in blistering Beijing heat. He finished sixth at the 2017 London Marathon.

Geoffrey Kamworor – Kenya (PB: 2:06:12)

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A force on the cross-country scene, Kamworor is one of the most promising young marathoners yet to win an Abbott World Marathon Major. The two-time IAAF World Cross-Country Championships individual gold medallist won the 2014 and 2016 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships and has a PB in the marathon more than four years old.

Other notables

Lemi Berhanu Hayle (Boston Marathon champion), Lelisa Desisa (two-time Boston Marathon champion, part of Nike’s Breaking2 project), Jared Ward (sixth at the 2016 Olympics) and Meb Keflezighi (Olympic silver medallist in 2004).

There are no Canadians in the elite fields of the 2017 New York City Marathon. The full pro field can be found here.

New York City Marathon coverage presented by New Balance.