NYC Half set to impress

half-marathon women's running
Krista DuChene will race the NYC Half this weekend.
Krista DuChene wins the 2013 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon. Photo: Inge Johnson

Some of the world’s top distance runners from the 10,000m and marathon will clash at a distance between the two on Sunday at the NYC Half.

Mo Farah, double Olympic and world championships gold medallist, is set to race his first half-marathon of the season in preparation for his marathon debut at the London Marathon next month. Farah has one of the fastest PBs in the field at 1:00:59, which stands as the British record. He thinks he can run under one hour on Sunday.

His PB at the distance is bested in the field only by Geoffrey Mutai, who holds a 58:58 PB which he ran in February of 2013. Mutai has run the fastest marathon ever in the 2011 Boston Marathon. He finished in 2:03:04, faster than the world record, but Boston is not a record eligible course.

Other big names racing with Mutai and Farah are American Meb Keflezighi and Kenyan Wesley Korir.

There are two Canadian elite men racing as well. Training partners Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis will be lining up. They hold PBs of 1:02:42 and 1:03:34 and could mix it up with the leaders.


Gillis said it’s “hard to know where fitness is when working out in this winter weather” but that he’s “pleased with it now, though.”

“This weekend will be a test to see where I’m at. [I’m] planning a busy spring with Toronto Yonge St 10K, Montreal half and Ottawa Marathon.” said Gillis. “Looking to kick things off on a good note in New York on Sunday. First time racing NYC half, pumped to be racing again!”

On the women’s side the lone Canadian elite racing in New York is Krista DuChene.

DuChene is one of the top road racers in Canada at the moment and has run the second fastest marathon in Canadian history. She holds a half-marathon PB of 1:10:52 from last June in Vancouver. This was under the previous Canadian record but the course in Vancouver is downhill and point-to-point, making it ineligible for records.

Other female elites racing are Hilda Kibet, a Kenyan-born Dutch runner. She holds the fastest PB in the field with 1:07:59. American Desiree Linden is also racing and will be joined by compatriot Molly Huddle, making ehr debut at the distance. Sally Kipyego, and Olympic silver medallist is also making her debut at the half-marathon and will likely make a splash with the front pack.

Last weekend Lanni Marchant broke the Canadian half-marathon record by running 1:10:47 in Nashville, Tenn.

The NYC Half is set to start Sunday, March 16, at 7:30 a.m.