Alright, race fans. Ready for another installment of Chicory’s handy-dandy race previews? Next up is NYC! The five-borough jaunt is welcoming back all of last year’s champions and the elite field includes 11 former New York City Marathon champions, 13 Olympians and 19 Paralympians, and 14 past Abbott World Marathon Majors race champions. And, Pimento!
Mary Keitany returns looking to defend her title and win the race for what would be a record-setting fifth time — she and Grete Waitz are the only two women to have won four times. Last year, she ran the second-fastest time in event history, winning in 2:22:48. She’s also the women-only marathon world record holder in 2:17:01.
And all that makes Keitany sound like an easy favorite, but also in the field are Worknesh Degefa (2019 Boston champ), Ruti Aga (2019 Tokyo champ), Joyceline Jepkosgei (2019 NYC half champ) and MUTHA-EFFING DES LINDEN (2018 Boston champ; two-time Olympian).
Linden hasn’t posted much on social media about her training, other than the fact she had pie for breakfast and the internet saw her abs for what may be the first time ever. But, I’m willing to wager that means she’s been quietly showing up day after day, focused on the task at hand and enjoying her life. She was fifth at Boston this year in 2:27:00 and ran a 1:11:22 half leading up to that. I didn’t find any race results since then on IAAF but she posted a photo of herself at what appeared to be a more casual race (hey, Des, when are you launching those “Keep Showing Up” shirts???), and some sleuthing turns up she won a 10K outright in Charlevoix, MI, (her home base), in 35:08 … beating her husband by 21 seconds.
The U.S. contingent isn’t huge — possibly because the trials are drawing closer — but it’s strong. Allie Kieffer and Kellyn Taylor join Sara Hall … who is running her third major race in five weeks.
Hall literally JUST PRed in the marathon five weeks ago at Berlin, running 2:22:16 for fifth. Then, the very next weekend, she won the U.S. 10 mile championships in 53:11. She’s clearly in shape, but it makes my legs hurt to even think of that kind of racing schedule. Heck, I think I need a nap just from looking up the results.
Kieffer’s breakthrough was at NYC in 2017, when she took 26 minutes off her PR to run 2:29:39 for fifth. Last year, she improved on her PR again at New York, cutting it down to 2:28:12. She hasn’t raced much this year, but won the Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona half-marathon back in January in 1:13:34. About a month ago she was diagnosed with a hamstring strain. “Before the injury my confidence was pretty low; afterwards it was shot,” she posted on Instagram. “I was angry that another injury was robbing me of a chance to turn this lackluster year around before the Olympic Trials.” She took two weeks off and started running again around Oct. 8 and said after a few days she was running pain-free. “While it probably won’t be the A+ day I wanted, I am going to get the chance to be out there, and that’s worth celebrating!”
Taylor — one of my favorites to follow because she’s just a total badass — has posted about both her struggles and successes this training block. She got sick (mom of three probs) and had to withdraw from the Chicago half she had planned as a tuneup, but she placed seventh in 54:14 at the 10 mile championships in early October. She also doubled in the 5K and 10K at the U.S. track championships in July and ran 32:37 at Peachtree and 15:19.23 for a 5K in June. That’s a lot of short fast stuff following her 2:26:27 for fourth at the Prague Marathon in May! Her marathon PR is 2:24:29 set at Grandma’s last summer, and I think she and training partner Steph Bruce have crushed it all year so I’m excited to see her rip at NYC.
Other American women in the elite field (PRs in parentheses):
- Diane Nukuri (2:27:50)
- Roberta Groner (2:29:09)
- Kaitlin Goodman (2:32:08)
- Danna Herrick (2:32:19)
- Lindsey Scherf (2:32:19)
- Kate Landau (2:33:29)
- Katy Jermann (2:33:41)
- Alia Gray (2:34:00)
- Nicole DiMercurio (2:36:03)
- Paula Pridgen (2:41:29)
- Jen Bingham (2:41:37)
- Margo Malone (2:42:22)
- Ana Johnson (2:43:11)
- Megan Foster (2:43:44)
- Molly Bookmyer (2:44:07)
Watch the Race
- In the New York tri-state area: Watch the broadcast live on WABC-TV from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST. Pre-race coverage from Fort Wadsworth begins at 7 a.m. Live streaming will be available on the ABC App and ABC7NY.com from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Everywhere else (in the U.S., anyway): Watch live coverage from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST on ESPN2 and via the ESPN App on smartphones, tablets, and connected streaming devices and ESPN.com on computers for those who have video subscriptions from affiliated pay-TV providers. Pre-race and continuing coverage will also be streamed live nationally on ESPN3 (accessible on the ESPN App and ESPN.com) from 7-9 a.m. and from 12- 2 p.m. ESPN3 will also present a view of the finish line from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. The broadcast will also be available live in Spanish on ESPN3 (accessible on the ESPN App and ESPN.com) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. And don’t miss the national highlight show on your local ABC station from 4-6 p.m. EST; check local listings for other time zones.
- In person: check this great guide on the NYRR site. Also, visit my friend’s Not Another Brooklyn Blog for an amazing source of what to do — and where to eat — while you’re spectating.
Who will you be watching during the race? Pros, friends?