Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the gold medal in the Women's Marathon at The Mall on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 5, 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
2012 Olympic Marathon gold medalist Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia and bronze medallist Tatyana Arkhipova of Russia, reigning New York champion Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia, and two Kenyan champions Edna Kiplagat and Sharon Cherop, lead the women’s field, while 2012 Olympic marathon bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang and 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Moses Mosop lead the men’s contingent.
Also competing will be 2010 New York champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia. Previously announced runners for the men’s race include three-time U.S. Olympian and 2009 winner Meb Keflezighi, four-time USA Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, 2012 Boston Marathon fourth-placer Jason Hartmann, and 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials fifth-placer Brett Gotcher.
In the women’s race, previously announced runners include New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, 2012 U.S. Olympians Julie Culley, Amy Hastings, and Janet Bawcom, and top U.S. contenders Michelle Frey, Alisha Williams, Serena Burla, and Molly Pritz.
"We have a star-studded field for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon headlined by a remarkable roster of World Marathon Major champions," said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. "It will be a race of strategy and intrigue as Edna Kiplagat and Sharon Cherop go for the NY title while running a race within the race for greatest women’s marathon of this WMM Series. 2012 Olympic marathon gold medalist Tiki Gelana and defending champ Firehiwot Dado will have their eyes on the prize of NY and next year’s WMM Series, and we can’t wait to see what Olympic marathon bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang will do in his ING New York City Marathon debut."
Kiplagat, 32, of Kenya, is the 2011 World champion and is ranked number three by the ARRS amongst the world’s marathoners. She finished second in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon with a personal best time of 2:19:50, earning a spot on the Kenyan Olympic marathon team. Kiplagat won the 2010 New York City Marathon in a time of 2:28:20. She also won this year’s NYRR New York Mini 10K. Kiplagat is ranked second on the 2011-2012 WMM leaderboard with 50 points.
"I've always loved running on the streets of New York, so I was really disappointed last year to miss the ING New York City Marathon because of the knee injury from my terrible fall at the World Championships," said Kiplagat. "I am, of course, very, very happy to be invited back to NYC this year, and will be doing my best to try to win the race again."
Cherop, 28, of Kenya, is the 2012 Boston Marathon champion and 2011 World Championships Marathon bronze medallist. She claimed a position as one of the top marathoners in the world with an 11-minute personal best of 2:22:42 to win the 2010 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon — the fastest women’s time ever run in Canada. Her Marathon personal best of 2:22:39 was set at the 2012 Dubai Marathon. She is ranked third on the 2011-2012 WMM leaderboard with 45 points; this will be her New York City Marathon debut.
Gelana, 24, of Ethiopia, won the gold medal in the 2012 Olympic women’s Marathon in an Olympic record time of 2:23:07. She broke the Ethiopian record at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon, completing a solo run of 2:18:58 to win the race almost five minutes ahead of runner-up Valeria Straneo of Italy. She is now the fifth-fastest woman ever at the distance. She will also be making her New York Marathon debut.
Arkhipova, 29, of Russia, took bronze in the 2012 Olympic Games women’s Marathon. She was a silver medallist in the 3000m Steeplechase at the 2007 World Championships and 2006 European Championships. This will be her New York City Marathon debut as well.
Kipsang, 30, of Kenya, took bronze in the 2012 Olympic Games men’s marathon and is the 2012 Virgin London Marathon champion. His marathon best of 2:03:42, set at the 2011 Frankfurt Marathon, makes him the second-fastest marathoner of all-time behind World record-holder and Kenyan countryman Patrick Makau, who ran 2:03:38 last year in the BMW Berlin Marathon.
Dado, 28, of Ethiopia, is the 2011 New York City Marathon and 2012 NYC Half champion. She ran a personal-best time of 2:23:15 to win her New York City debut. She is also a three-time winner of the Rome City Marathon.
Mosop, 26, of Kenya, is the reigning Chicago Marathon champion and the World record-holder for both 25,000 and 30,000 meters on the track. He clocked an unbelievable 2:03:06 at the 2011 Boston Marathon, the second-fastest time ever recorded on any marathon course. This will be his New York City marathon debut.
Gebremariam, 28, of Ethiopia, made his marathon debut at the 2010 New York City Marathon and won the race in a time of 2:08:14. He was third at the Boston Marathon in 2011 with a personal best of 2:04:53. The two-time Olympian has won four individual medals at the World Cross Country Championships, including gold in 2009.
Organisers for the IAAF