The New York City Marathon began in Central Park, with nearly five loops around the hilly park in Manhattan. In 1976, for one year only, the late Fred Lebow introduced the Five Borough Marathon. It was to celebrate the bi centennial and the late NYRR President and race director was like a man possessed. One potentlal sponsor, told me, many years later, that Fred had tried to get him to donate $5000 to help the race. The embarrassed CEO did not, but did years later. George Hirsch, then, pubisher of New York magazine, and iconic magazine in the Big Apple, donated his own money because, well, he was a runner and he believed in Fred’s vision thing.
The diminutive Translyvanian, along with Alan Steinfeld and their wonderful crew, moved the marathon from Central Park to celebrate the world’s city, and history was made. I ran the marathon in 1986, and I fell in love with New York because of that race.
In the following article, our friend, Justin Lagat provides you insights into some of the world class field set for Sunday, November 5, 2017. Make sure that you follow our coverage of this iconic event and iconic week.
Some elite athletes to watch out for at the New York City Marathon
A good 30km tempo run is part of good preparation for running a great marathon. Kipsang did this by running close to a world record pace up to the 30km point at the recent Berlin Marathon before pulling out of the race and later opting to run the New York City Marathon. Kipsang has been one of the most consistent marathon runners in the world with the highest number of sub 2:04 marathon times.
The self-coached Kipsang, who made his marathon debut in 2010 by running 2:04:57 at the Frankfurt marathon, has had a lot of experience running at the most competitive level for over seven years now with wins from London, Tokyo, Berlin and New York marathons. He should be the favorite here to win the New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Besides the great form she is currently in, Keitany has already won the New York Marathon three times. She understands the course very well and is very likely to go ahead and historically win it for a fourth consecutive time.
Keitany is arguably the best female marathon runner in the world currently having just set a new world record in London this year. She also just ran a solo run at the Great North Run recently, which confirms her great form leading up to the New York City Marathon.
Now at 37 years of age, Kiplagat continues to perform impressively at the elite level. From as early as 1996, her name was already at the world stage after she won a silver medal at the world junior championships. More than 20 years later, she is still making headlines in the world of athletics.
The two times world champion has also been one of the most consistent women in the marathon distance with major past wins in London, New York and early this year at the Boston marathon.
The last time he ran in the New York City marathon, Kamworor finished in an impressive 2ndbehind Stanley Biwot in 2015. Kamworor trains with Eliud Kipchoge who just won the Berlin marathon, as well as with Philemon who also just set a new Canadian-all comers’ record at the Toronto Waterfront marathon. This could serve to motivate the two times world half marathon champion to run well given that he now knows that the training program they had been using worked well for his colleagues.
Saina is yet to register her time in the marathon distance after an injury forced her to drop out of the Tokyo Marathon early this year. Saina is a good fighter and it will be interesting to see how fast and successful over the marathon distance.
Desisa was part of the runners that were selected for the Nike’s Breaking2 project and has won the Boston marathon two times. The other two athletes who were attempting to run under two hours for the marathon have so far done other races this year; Zersenay Tadese ran the Chicago marathon while Eliud Kipchoge ran and won the Berlin Marathon. With the support they are getting aimed at running under two hours, it will be interesting to see how Desisa will do here and how the project has impacted on his fitness level.