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Although the long-planned 50th edition of the TCS New York City Marathon cannot take place this year due to the COVID pandemic, the virtual version will still offer some of the usual star power of the in-person race. Race founders and organizers New York Road Runners announced today that national champions Steph Bruce (Hoka Northern Arizona Elite) and Emily Sisson (Team New Balance) will among those running their own 42.195-kilometer race during the October 17 to November 1 Virtual TCS New York City Marathon event window.
"New York is a dream goal of mine," said Bruce in a video message from her home in Flagstaff, Ariz. "And even though 2020 looks different I still need a reason to get out there to train and race."
Bruce, the 36 year-old mother of two boys, finished sixth at the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta last February. She has a personal best of 2:27:47 and has won national road running titles at 10 km (2018) and the half-marathon (2019). She has run the TCS New York City Marathon twice, finishing 10th in 2017 and 11th in 2018. Despite the pandemic, she's done a pair of 5000-meter track races this year, running 15:29.95 and 15:19.21. She has run 11 career marathons.
"At every level we all need something tangible to train for," Bruce recently wrote on Twitter. "Something that gets us out the door and fired up. I've been training for some big opportunities coming up. I'm not gonna waste them."
Sisson, 28, made an excellent marathon debut in London in April, 2019, clocking 2:23:08, despite falling during her warm-up and banging her knee. In her second marathon, the 2020 USA Olympic Trials, she failed to finish. The hilly course left her legs trashed, she said.
"It sounds dramatic, but that was probably the most disappointing race I've had in my career," she told NBC Sports recently.
Sisson had planned to run the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon before it was cancelled on June 24. She's hoping that the virtual race --which does not offer any prize money-- will fill some of the void in her training and racing schedule.
"Nothing gets me as fit as marathon training," Sisson said in a video statement today. "I'm hoping to use this as a springboard into the new Olympic year of 2021."
New York Road Runners also announced that 17-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden would be competing as a wheelchair racer. McFadden, 31, has won the women's wheelchair division of the TCS New York City Marathon five times.
"I'm so excited to be running the virtual TCS New York City Marathon this fall," McFadden said through a video statement.
Other noteworthy participants include American Olympic marathon medalists Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi, former pro tennis player James Blake, reigning TCS New York City Marathon men's wheelchair division champion Daniel Romanchuk, and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber.
"Virtual racing continues to redefine the runner experience by creating an innovative and safe way to participate during these challenging times while also providing an opportunity for runners from all over the world to stay connected through running," said New York Road Runners president and CEO Michael Capiraso through a statement. "We are excited to welcome an inspiring group of prominent runners to our third-annual Virtual TCS New York City Marathon."(08/26/2020) Views: 1,269 ⚡AMP
The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...more...