Former World Marathon champion and reigning Olympic Marathon silver medalist, Catherine Ndereba, will line-up for the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 5, race organisers announced yesterday.
"Catherine may well be the most feared runner in the women's field," said Mary Wittenberg the president and CEO of New York Road Runners, the New York City not-for-profit which founded and organises the marathon. "She is a one-time world record-holder, Olympic and World Championships medalist, four-time Boston champion, and two-time Chicago champion. None of our top women have beaten her in a marathon. No one else in the field can say that."
Ndereba, 34, moved swiftly to the top of the marathon game since making her debut at Boston in 1999. The first woman to break 2:19 for the distance, she has run sub-2:20 three times and sub-2:24 nine times. Her victories include Boston four times, Chicago twice, Osaka, and the World Championships in Paris in 2003 when she became the first-ever African woman to win the world marathon title.
But Ndereba has yet to cross the storied finish line first in New York City next to Tavern on the Green. She was second in 2003 in 2:23:03, the second-fastest time ever on New York's challenging course, and was also second in 1999. The possibility of adding the New York City title is a major motivator for Ndereba.
"It means a lot to me to go to the ING New York City Marathon," said Ndereba. "I've been second there twice and not won it yet, so if I can win this year, it will achieve one of my unfulfilled goals and add another feather in my cap."
Ndereba will face defending champion, Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, and American record holder, Deena Kastor, in the special all-women's professional race which steps off about half an hour before the mass race which drew a record 90,000 applicants this year. Last year's race had a record 36,856, the largest-ever marathon in history.
The New York event is part of the five-race World Marathon Majors series where the top-5 finishers at the marathons in Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York score points in a two year series leading to a $1,000,000 prize to be shared by the top man and woman point scorer. The next stop on the series is the real,- Berlin Marathon on September 24.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF