ATHLETICS Preview: Keitany tries for fifth NYC Marathon title on Sunday

Another New York City Marathon for Kenya's Mary Keitany on Sunday?

The final major marathon of 2019, the annual New York City Marathon, comes Sunday through the five boroughs of New York, with strong fields and good weather of around 50 degrees expected, but with some wind.

The storylines coming in are for Kenya’s Mary Keitany, the four-time winner of the race and defending champion, and the match-up of the last two men’s winners: Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa (2018, and 2019 World Champion) and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworer (2017). Keitany has not been in top form so far in 2019, with a fifth in 2:20:58 in London in April and a fourth in a Half Marathon (67:58) in early September. But after Brigid Kosgei’s stunning 2:14:04 world record in Chicago, will she try for something special? The women’s course record is 2:22:31 by Kenya’s Margaret Okayo in 2003. The leading entries by lifetime bests:

Men:
● 2:04:06 ‘18 – Tamirat Tola (ETH) ~ 2017 Worlds silver medalist; 4th in NYCM ‘18
● 2:04:45 ‘13 – Lelisa Desisa (ETH) ~ 2019 World Champion; 2-3-dnf-3-1 in NYCM starts
● 2:04:49 ‘18 – Shura Kitata (ETH) ~ 2018 silvers at London and New York
● 2:06:12 ‘12 – Geoffrey Kamworer (KEN) ~ 2-1-3 in ‘15-17-18 NYCM; 3x World Half golds
● 2:08:03 ‘19 – Albert Korir (KEN) ~ Won Houston & Ottawa Marathons in 2019
● 2:08:05 ‘19 – Yassine Rachik (ITA) ~ 2018 European Champs bronze medalist
● 2:08:33 ‘15 – Arne Gabius (GER) ~ 7th at Hannover Mar ‘19; NYC debut
● 2:08:56 ‘06 – Abdi Abdirahman (USA) ~ (42) 8th NYCM: 14-5-6-9-3-7-dnf (bronze in 2016)

Women:
● 2:17:01 ‘17 – Mary Keitany (KEN) ~ NYCM winner in 2014-15-16-18; 2nd in ‘17
● 2:18:34 ‘18 – Ruti Aga (ETH) ~ 2019 Tokyo Marathon winner; PR in Berlin ‘18 (2nd)
● 2:22:02 ‘19 – Nancy Kiprop (KEN) ~ PR to win 2019 Vienna Marathon
● 2:24:11 ‘19 – Sinead Diver (AUS) ~ (42) PR for seventh at 2019 London Marathon
● 2:26:21 ‘19 – Ellie Pashley (AUS) ~ PR for 14th in 2019 Nagoya Marathon
● 2:26:41 ‘19 – Belaynesh Fikadu (ETH) ~ PR for 2nd at 2019 Houston Marathon
● 2:22:28 ‘11 – Des Linden (USA) ~ 2018 Boston champ; 5th NYCM ‘14, 6th NYCM ‘18
● 2:24:29 ‘18 – Kellyn Taylor (USA) ~ PR to win Duluth Marathon ‘18; 8th NYCM ‘17
● 2:26:20 ‘19 – Sara Hall (USA) ~ PR for 5th at 2019 Berlin Marathon; 9th NYCM ‘16
● 2:26:48 ‘19 – Aliphine Tuliamuk (USA) ~ Third at Rotterdam ‘19 with PR 2:26:48

Although placements have usually been more important in New York than time, there will be considerable interest on the clock, given the tight Tokyo 2020 qualifying marks of 2:11:30 (men) and 2:29:30 (women). The qualifying standards for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February are 2:15:00 for men and 2:37:00 for women, with secondary standards (provisional qualifying) of 2:19:00 and 2:45:00.

Prize money for the professionals is $100,000-60,000-40,000-25,000-15,000-10,000-7.500-5,000-2,500-2,000 for the top 10 for both sexes ($534,000 total).There is bonus money for the top five U.S. finishers of $25,000-15,000-10,000-5,000-3,000 ($116,000 total). Also, there are time bonuses of up to $50,000.

Another notable entry is 2018 Olympic Cross Country Skiing gold medalist Kikkan Randall (USA), now a member of the International Olympic Committee, who has been battling (and beating) breast cancer.

The race will be shown live nationally from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2, with John Anderson and Sage Steele being joined by Tim Hutchings and the just-retired Shalane Flanagan, the famed 2017 winner and Olympic medalist. Look for results here.

Previous articleSWIMMING Preview: Final cluster starts in Kazan with Campbell and Hosszu still fighting it out
Next articleTSX INTEL REPORT: More events to be moved from Tokyo due to heat? Here are some candidates; Amgen Tour of California on “hiatus” & meet Grant Holloway, Twitter star!