The New York City Marathon is this Sunday, and it is shaping up to be an exciting race, partly because defending champions Mary Keitany and Lelisa Desisa (who won the marathon at the recent World Championships in Doha) will be back, but also because of the Americans and others who will be looking to run Olympic standard. In order to secure a spot in the US Olympic Marathon Trials on February 29, the Americans in the field must have run the B standard, which is 2:45 (women) or 2:19 (men) between September 1, 2017 and January 19, 2020.
2019 Boston champion Worknesh Degefa was expected to race, but has dropped due to metatarsalgia in her left foot, which caused her to miss too much training. In her absence, the only runner likely to seriously challenge Keitany is Ruti Aga, who won the Tokyo Marathon in January. Americans Sara Hall (who just smashed her PB at the Berlin Marathon barely a month ago), Des Linden (2018 Boston champion), Kellyn Taylor (2018 Grandma’s Marathon winner), Roberta Groner (who finished sixth at the World Championships, at age 41) and Allie Kieffer (who won last year’s Scotiabank Toronto Half-Marathon) will toe the line, along with Sinead Diver (who is Irish but lives in Australia, and who holds the W40 world record in the half-marathon at 1:08:55), Gerda Steyn of South Africa (who smashed the “up” course record at Comrades earlier this year) and world half-marathon record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya, making her much-anticipated marathon debut.
What a gift to get to do this again in 2️⃣ weeks!
Unconventional maybe, but 4 years into running the marathon, I still feel I have so much room to learn and grow in this event.
Grateful for another opportunity to work on my craft at @nycmarathon ! pic.twitter.com/iIo2CwPJKO
— Sara Hall (@SaraHall3) October 20, 2019
On the men’s side, 2018 second-, third- and fourth-place finishers Shura Kitata of Ethiopia, Geoffrey Kamworor (who won in 2017) and Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia will be looking for the win. Contenders for US Olympic Trials are Jared Ward (who finished eighth at this year’s Boston Marathon and sixth at New York last year), Abdi Abdirahman and Tyler McCandless, among others. The field also includes 2:11 marathoner, Jack Rayner of Australia, one of the 41 pacers in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge that saw Eliud Kipchoge run 42.2K in 1:59:40.
Here are some of the biggest names who will be running on Sunday, and their personal best times.
Mary Keitany (KEN)2:17:01
Ruti Aga (ETH) 2:18:34
Sara Hall (US) 2:22:16
Des Linden (US) 2:22:28
Sinead Diver (AUS) 2:24:11
Kellyn Taylor (US) 2:24:29
Allie Kieffer (US) 2:28:12
Roberta Groner (US) 2:29:09
Gerda Steyn (RSA) 2:31:04
Tamirat Tola (ETH) 2:04:06
Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:04:45
Shura Kitata (ETH) 2:04:49
Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 2:06:12
Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:03
Arne Gabius (GER) 2:08:33
Abdi Abdirahman (US) 2:08:56
Jared Ward (US) 2:09:25
Michel Butter (NED) 2:09:58
Sasha Gollish of Toronto will not be racing New York after all. After a number of disappointing marathon experiences (she ran an impressive 2:32 in Houston in January (CHECK) but dropped out of both Berlin in 2018 and the marathon in Doha), Gollish has decided to regroup. No other Canadians appear on the elite lists.