Kara Goucher after her third place finish in New York; her 2:25:53 was the fastest ever debut by an American (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News New York, USA

Top US runners, led by Goucher and Linden, will join Keflezighi on New York City Marathon start line

Acclaimed US talent, led by 2012 Olympians Kara Goucher and Desiree Linden will join previously announced Meb Keflezighi on the start line at the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday 2 November, organisers of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race announced on Monday (8).

Goucher will return to New York for the first time since making her mark on the 2008 New York City Marathon when she ran the fastest US women’s debut marathon of 2:25:53, and finished in third place, while Linden will run the New York City Marathon for the first time.

Keflezighi will lead the US men, including top returner Ryan Vail.

“It’s an honour and thrill to welcome such an extraordinary line up of American runners to this year’s Marathon,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners.

“Kara, Desi, and Ryan are, along with Meb, some of America’s most established and adored distance runners.

“As they lead the way through the city’s five boroughs and diverse running communities on marathon day, we’re sure they’ll inspire not only the 50,000-plus runners following in their footsteps, but the next generation of great American marathoners as well.”

Goucher, 36, has been a pioneer among US women marathoners since her impressive debut at the 2008 New York City Marathon, the fastest-ever marathon debut by a US woman and the fastest time by a US woman on the New York course.

Her third-place showing was the first podium finish by a US woman in 14 years. On the track, Goucher made history at the 2007 IAAF World Championships when she finished third in the 10,000m, the first US woman to win a medal in the event.

Before finishing 11th in the London 2012 Olympic Games marathon, Goucher placed third at the NYC Half in both 2011 and 2012.

She has finished in the top six three times at the Boston Marathon: third in 2009, fifth in 2011, and sixth in 2013. The 2014 TCS New York City Marathon will be her first competitive marathon since the 2013 Boston Marathon.

“Since I ran my first marathon in New York City in 2008, I have wanted to go back and run again,” said Goucher. “I am so excited after a year of injuries and changes that my return to ‘marathoning’ happens here. New York City is a very special place for me, as I was born in Queens. I have always loved the city, and I have felt a special connection since running my first marathon there.”

Linden, 31, finished second at the 2011 Boston Marathon with a personal best time of 2:22:38. She finished second at the 2012 US Olympic Trials Marathon in a time of 2:25:55, but she suffered an injury that forced her to drop out of the 2012 Olympic marathon.

Since overcoming her injury, Linden has finished second at the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships, fifth at the 2013 BMW Berlin Marathon, and 10th at the 2014 Boston Marathon.

“I feel I’ve been preparing for my TCS New York City Marathon debut since the beginning of my marathon career,” said Linden.

“I believe the course favours strong and experienced marathoners, and I’m excited that I’ve finally developed the fitness and fortitude to take on the challenging course and strong field that NYRR will assemble. I hope to build on the momentum from the spring and capitalise this fall by competing at the front of one of the world’s most prestigious marathons.”

Goucher and Linden will lead the deepest US women’s field in New York City Marathon history, including 2004 Olympic bronze medallist and US record-holder Deena Kastor, 2008 Olympian Blake Russell, 2013 USA marathon champion Annie Bersagel, and 2:28 performer Lauren Kleppin.

The top US men joining Keflezighi and Vail are the top two men’s finishers from the 2013 USA Marathon Championships: winner Nick Arciniaga and runner-up Josphat Boit.

Luke Puskedra, who represented the USA at the 2012 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, will make his marathon debut.

Organisers for the IAAF