2017 New York City Marathon Preview

Shalane warming up at the 2016 Olympic Trials. SaltyRunning.com photo.

Get your long run in Saturday and make sure you’re in front of a television Sunday morning. The New York City Marathon is set to be an exciting one to watch.

The American women are headed up by Shalane Flanagan, Kellyn Taylor, and Stephanie Bruce. That’s a hell of a line up.

Shalane, who finished 6th at the Rio Olympics last year, withdrew from her hometown Boston Marathon this spring after fracturing a bone in her lower back training in the snow. She comes in without a lot of recent racing, having also opted out of the Peachtree 10k road race in July. But … she’s Shalane. Now 36, she seems to think she’s nearing the end of her marathon career.

“I just want one more big performance, and I feel like I have it within me,” she’s posted online. “I just need the right stage and the right day to get it done.” (It’d be a shame, though, to not see her take another shot at Boston.)

With a 2:21:14 PR — and an Olympic silver medal at 10,000 meters — Shalane is not one to count out.

Kellyn and Stephanie train together with the NAZ Elite team and it looks like training has been solid. Kellyn has a 2:28:40 PR and Steph 2:29:35 — I’ll be curious to see if they pull a Shalane & Amy and run together, as they’ve been doing long runs and workouts together all year.

Stephanie Bruce, left, and Kellyn Taylor training in Arizona.

Kellyn had a great 2015 and 2016, with PRs from 10k to marathon. She fought hard for an Olympic berth, finishing sixth at the marathon trials and then a heartbreaking fourth in the 10,000 meter trials. Kellyn is gritty. Also she has a new adorable puppy and an adorable daughter and lots of pics of both on Instagram.

Steph … well, everyone knows Steph, right? Mom of two, married to pro runner and NAZ Elite teammate Ben Bruce, Oiselle pro, Picky Bars co-founder. Steph PR’d in the 10k this year, breaking 32 minutes at the Stanford Invitational. She ran 2:29:35 at Houston back in 2011, but then was out of the marathon scene from 2014-2016 having those cute babies and busting up her abdominals. She won the Gasparilla Half in 1:12:52 in February, about 70 seconds ahead of Esther Atkins, and was fifth at the USATF 20km national championships in September.

And watch for Aliphine Tullamuk, who has a 2:34:44 PR. This year, she’s won four national titles: cross country, 25K, 10K, and 7 miles. Aliphine is Kenyan-born and became a U.S. citizen in 2016; this will be her third marathon but first as an American. She finished as the top American at the 10-kilometer IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March, placing 15th in 33:43.

Other American Elite Women

  • Alexandra Cadicamo, 2:43:40 PR, was the 26th female at NYC back in 2013 in her debut. Runs for NYAC.
  • Janet Collar, 2:47:20 PR
  • Marisa Cummings, debut marathon with a 1:18:39 half-marathon PR set in 2014. Runs for NYAC.
  • Allie Kieffer, 2:55:30 PR, ran a 1:14:13 half in September.
  • Laurie Knowles, 2:36:01 PR.
  • Heather Lieberg, 2:34:09 PR, classroom teacher, mom, sixth at Gasparilla Half in 1:15:40 in February.
  • Amanda Marino, 2:41:22 PR, 9th at RnR Philly in September in 1:17:57.
  • Kate Pallardy, 2:40:15 PR, vegan, homeschools her two kids.
  • Caroline Williams, debut marathon. Sixth at the Brooklyn Half in May in 1:16:36; runs for NYAC.

Top International Women

  • Mary Keitany (KEN), 2:17:01 PR
  • Edna Kiplagat (KEN), 2:19:50 PR
  • Buzunesh Deba (ETH), 2:19:59 PR
  • Mare Dibaba (ETH), 2:19:52 PR

Men’s Elite Field

All eyes will be on Meb Keflezighi as he runs the last marathon of his professional career. Meb won the NYC Marathon in 2009, the first American to do so since 1982. He won Boston in 2014, and at 41 years old, was 16th at the Rio Olympics. Meb has a marathon PR of 2:08:37 and ran a 63:30 half in February.

The American contingent is strong on the men’s side:

  • Abdi Abdirahman, 2:08:56 PR
  • Shadrack Biwott, 2:12:01 PR
  • Jared Ward, 2:11:30 PR and Olympian

Plus, Tanner Fruit’s marathon debut; Jorge Maravilla, Brendan Martin, and Michael Wardian (who will probably have raced a marathon on Saturday, too).

Top International Men

  • Wilson Kipsang (KEN), 2:03:13
  • Lemi Berhanu (ETH), 2:04:33
  • Lelisa Desisa (ETH), 2:04:45
  • Tadesse Abraham (SUI), 2:06:40
  • Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN), 2:06:12
  • Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (ERI), 2:07:46

Saltines to watch!

How to Watch the NYC Marathon

This might be the easiest ever: Turn on ESPN. For real. Coverage from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Elite women start at 9:20 and Wave 1 plus elite men at 9:50. EVEN MORE pre-race coverage on ESPN3 online from 7-9 a.m.

Oh, you’re in NYC? Check out the official spectator guide here or click here for a local’s marathon-course dining guide.

All entrants mentioned in the professional/elite fields are from the official media guide.

Started running in my early 20s and ended up running my first marathon 15 months later. Managed to break 3 hours in my 12th marathon. Pilates instructor passionate about the importance of your powerhouse in running and the mind/body connection. One husband, zero kids, mama to one Australian Shepherd.

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