As if a star-studded American field wasn't enough, the 2014 TSC New York City Marathon has added men's world record holder Wilson Kipsang to its Nov. 2 lineup.
The New York Road Runners finalized their elite athlete field with the announcement of Olympic medalists and past NYC champions from around the world.
“We’re proud to welcome Wilson, a world-renowned marathon icon; Buzunesh Deba, the ultimate running ambassador for our City; and an unparalleled field to “get their New York on” with every stride they take through the City’s five boroughs, as they lead runners from Staten Island to Central Park,” NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said in a press release.
Last fall, Kipsang set the world record of 2:03:23 in Berlin. Earlier this year he won the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon in a course-record time of 2:04.27. The addition of Kipsang threatens two-time defending New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai’s goal of winning his third consecutive New York City Marathon.
2010 NYC champion Gebre Gebremariam is also entered in the field.
Olympic and world marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich returns to New York after a 12th-place finish in 2013, and Kenyan Stanley Biwott could be a darkhorse given his second-place finish (2:04:55) behind Kipsang in London. Bitwott was fifth in New York last year.
On the women’s side, Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba is tired of being the runner-up. Deba crossed the Central Park finish line in second place in 2011 and 2013, and set a personal best of 2:19:59 for a second place finish at the 2014 Boston Marathon behind Rita Jeptoo.
Deba will not have an easy day, though, because the field also includes two other women who have broken 2:20. Mary Keitany (2:18:37) returns after missing 2013 due to pregnancy and a recent win at the UK’s Great North Run, and Edna Kiplagat (2:19:50) is having a good year after winning the London Marathon in April.
Defending NYC champion Priscah Jeptoo was announced last month, while 2011 champion Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia may want her crown back in 2014. Dado won this year’s Prauge Marathon in 2:23:34.
Here is a look at the elite field by the numbers:
1 - Kipsang and Mutai have raced against each other only once over marathon distance. Kipsang won this year’s London Marathon and Mutai placed sixth in the same race.
3 - It’s been three years since Gebremariam has broken 2:10 for the marathon. He won his debut in New York, but it’s been a tough last few years with season-bests of 2:22:56 in 2012 and 2:10:28 in 2013.
12 - Kiprotich was 12th in New York last year and finished 12th in London this year (2:11:37).
9 - Deba has finished in the top nine at the last four New York City Marathons. Her last marathon victories came in 2011 when she won the LA Marathon and the Rock N’ Roll San Diego Marathon.
11 - The number of international runners with better personal bests than top American star Meb Keflezighi. The Americans will have their hands full on race day.
19 - Kipsang knocked 19 seconds off his previous personal best of 2:03:42 when he set the world record last fall. Heading into November, it will also be 19 months since Kipsang failed to win a marathon he entered (he was fifth in London in 2013).
26 - Kipsang won the London Marathon by 26 seconds over compatriot Stanley Biwott. Third-place finisher Tsegaye Kebede was two more minutes behind.
40 - It’s been 40 years since Katherine Switzer became the last New York resident to be crowned the city's marathon champion. Deba lives in the Bronx and is looking to end that streak.