Stanley Biwott and Mary Keitany will defend their TCS New York City Marathon crowns when they aim for a fourth consecutive Kenyan sweep of the titles at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on 6 November.
Biwott will race the five-borough course for the third time, having won last year’s race after breaking through in the final two minutes to finish in 2:10:34. He was fifth in his New York City debut in 2013, and since then has finished as runner-up at the London Marathon in both 2014 and 2016.
“New York is special to me because it was here I won my first title in the Abbott World Marathon Majors,” said Biwott. “After last year, my name has been spread worldwide, and I have been considered among the top athletes in the world. That's why I always like to return to New York, where I left a piece of my heart.”
Keitany has won the New York City Marathon for the past two years. A victory this year would make her the first woman to win three consecutive New York City Marathon titles since Grete Waitz claimed five straight wins from 1982 to 1986.
Keitany is the second-fastest woman in history and holds the African record of 2:18:37. The 34-year-old has also twice won the London Marathon and took gold at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
“I am very excited again to go to New York and defend my title,” said Keitany. “I am happy that I will get to try to defend for the third time, because I have won in 2014 and 2015. This year, I am very excited and happy that, if it is possible, I can win for the third time and can make history. If you win two or three times, it is not easy. If you do it, you can make history.”
Both defending champions will face a top international field.
Eritrea’s Ghirmay Ghebreslassie became the youngest ever world marathon champion when he struck gold in Beijing last year at the age of 19. He finished fourth in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, just missing out on the podium.
Lelisa Desisa won the Boston Marathon in 2013 and 2015. The 2013 world silver medallist was also the runner-up at the 2014 New York City Marathon and finished third in 2015.
Moses Kipsiro has earned global medals on the track and at cross country, but now the Ugandan is branching out on to the road. The 30-year-old clocked 2:15:48 on his marathon debut earlier this year and will be looking to improve on that time in New York City.
Lucas Rotich won last year’s Hamburg Marathon in a PB of 2:07:17. The 26-year-old Kenyan followed it with a victory at this year’s Lake Biwa Marathon.
Dathan Ritzenhein is the top US runner in the men’s field. The 2009 world half marathon bronze medallist has a marathon PB of 2:07:47, set at the 2012 Chicago Marathon.
After Keitany, Gladys Cherono owns the second-fastest time in the women’s elite field. Her winning time of 2:19:25 at the 2015 Berlin Marathon also makes her the seventh-fastest marathon runner of all time. The 33-year-old Kenyan won gold at the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and silver over 10,000m at the 2013 IAAF World Championships.
Aselefech Mergia finished second in New York City last year. The 31-year-old Ethiopian is a three-time winner of the Dubai Marathon and has a PB of 2:19:31.
Two-time Honolulu Marathon winner Joyce Chepkirui will be making her New York City Marathon debut. The 28-year-old Kenyan won last year’s Amsterdam Marathon in a PB of 2:24:11 and finished third at this year’s Boston Marathon.
Sally Kipyego earned silver medals in the 10,000m at both the 2012 Olympics and 2011 World Championships. The 30-year-old Kenyan made her marathon debut in New York City last year, but did not finish.
Following her run in the 10,000m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where she broke the North American record, Molly Huddle will make her marathon debut in New York City.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Stanley and Mary in what is one of the most celebrated TCS New York City Marathon fields in recent memory,” said race director Peter Ciaccia. “Our professional athlete field is stacked with international champions and Americans who are changing the face of long-distance running in our country. It’s a great group to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our five-borough course.”
Organisers for the IAAF
Stanley Biwott (KEN) 2:03:51
Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:04:45
Lucas Rotich (KEN) 2:07:17
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (ERI) 2:07:47
Dathan Ritzenhein (USA) 2:07:47
Ryan Vail (USA) 2:10:57
Hiroyuki Yamamoto (JPN) 2:11:48
Matt Llano (USA) 2:12:28
Shadrack Biwott (USA) 2:12:55
Tyler Pennel (USA) 2:13:32
Craig Leon (USA) 2:13:53
Christo Landry (USA) 2:14:30
Moses Kipsiro (UGA) 2:15:48
Mary Keitany (KEN) 2:18:37
Gladys Cherono (KEN) 2:19:25
Aselefech Mergia (ETH) 2:19:31
Buzunesh Deba (KEN) 2:19:59
Joyce Chepkirui (KEN) 2:24:11
Lanni Marchant (CAN) 2:28:00
Kellyn Taylor (USA) 2:28:40
Janet Bawcom (USA) 2:29:45
Sara Hall (USA) 2:30:06
Neely Gracey (USA) 2:35:00
Sally Kipyego (KEN)
Molly Huddle (USA) debut
Kim Conley (USA) debut
Gwen Jorgensen (USA) debut