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One of America’s greatest marathoners has retired to become a coach and a television commentator, and she is speaking her mind about her sport and her top sponsor.
Shalane Flanagan, the four-time Olympian and winner of the New York City Marathon in 2017, called it quits on her running career in October — sort of.
Flanagan, who is 38 and has long trained with Nike’s Bowerman Track Club, is moving into coaching and television work. She will serve as the color analyst for ABC’s telecast of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, and once that is done she will return to Oregon to help coach the elite women who call themselves the “Bowerman Babes.”
There are few women coaching at the highest levels of running, even for female runners, and fewer who can still keep up with the athletes they train. That’s the kind of coach Flanagan plans to be as she moves into the next phase of her career.
“My dream is to become a personal pacer,” she said in a phone interview last week, during which she discussed her decision to hang up her racing shoes, Nike’s connection to the latest performance-enhancing drug scandal and whether, as an analyst, she will criticize runners she is coaching.
So now you are becoming a coach officially. Is that a role you have been playing unofficially for a while?
"Prior to the last year I had always looked at myself as the elder on the team. A little motherly, maybe a bit bossy and mentoring to younger athletes. But ever since I finished my last race in New York a year ago I have known I wanted to coach, and I’ve been observing and watching more with a coaching eye than as a teammate. The last year has been a kind of informal internship," she said.
Why aren’t there more female coaches at the highest levels in track and field?
"I never thought of it as a gender position or role, but having in the last year been in an environment and the arena of the coaching world, it has opened my eyes. At the U.S. championships, there are very few women coaches in the warm-up area, or even agents. It definitely feels strange."
Your sponsor, Nike, which funds your training group, worked closely with Alberto Salazar, who has been suspended from the sport for actions he took as coach of the Nike Oregon Project. Has the company done enough to make you feel that other Nike athletes will not be tainted by all of this?
"They are currently looking at the situation. I am guessing that they are a bit shocked to some degree and they are going to evaluate how they format these teams in the future. It’s a big liability for them. It’s very complicated. I’m proud of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the efforts they put forth and their commitment to clean sport."
Were you surprised by what you read in the reports about the Oregon Project, that Nike’s chief executive, Mark Parker (who has since left that post), was kept in the loop through emails about experiments with performance-enhancing drugs?
"We train on the Nike campus, but we very much stick to our neck of the woods. We kind of quarantine ourselves. Once Jerry Schumacher broke off with Alberto in 2009, we’ve been very separated. That said, I’m surprised but not surprised by the situation that unfolded. I trained with Kara Goucher sometimes and I was privy to what she was going through, so I am not completely ignorant on the subject. As for Mark Parker’s interactions, I was unaware of those. (Goucher was one of the main whistle-blowers in the USADA investigation.)"
Will you run with the women you are coaching?
"I would love to pace someone like Shelby Houlihan to a 5K record attempt, or really any of our athletes. Being able to do that for them, that’s my motivation."
Did you ever have a coach like that?
"Jerry used to be able to hop in during some sessions. It made it so much more fun. When I was preparing for Boston I would make multiple trips and train on the course for multiple days. Jerry would get on and do workouts with me. I loved so much to have my coach give his body to help me attain my goals.
So what does Jerry say about you commenting on television about runners in your training group?
"Jerry would prefer I not commentate when I have athletes in races. I’m not sure I will change his mind on that aspect."(11/11/2019) ⚡AMP
When Meb Keflezighi ran his first competitive race in the seventh grade, his motivation was simple: to get a t-shirt for his school’s running club that his older brothers also wore.
Yet after running a mile in 5 minutes, 20 seconds, he discovered he had a unique talent. His teacher at the time told him, “You’re going to go to the Olympics.” And word in school quickly spread.
“I didn’t speak English at the time, but my picture by the gym made history,” said Keflezighi, who immigrated to the U.S. from Eritrea.
“They said, ‘Hey, here’s the fastest kid,’ and people started giving me high-fives,” he added. “And that was how my running started.”
Today, Keflezighi, 44, is the only runner to have won an Olympic medal, the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon.
Before winning the New York City Marathon, Keflezighi faced a number of setbacks that led him to question whether he would ever be able to run again. That included a stress fracture in his hip that left him crawling on his hands and knees just to get around.
“I couldn’t stand up to bear weight, and I remember looking over the window of the city, because I couldn’t stand up,” Keflezighi said.
Around that time, his friend and fellow professional runner Ryan Shay died of a heart attack.
“You can’t compare when the guy you were sitting next to on the bus to the starting line passed away,” Keflezighi said. “That kind of puts life in perspective.”
Keflezighi, who was already an Olympic silver medalist, considered retiring. But something internally told him he was not done.
“What it taught me was to celebrate every personal best,” Keflezighi said. “Just to be able to run, you’re grateful when it’s not taken away from you.”
He set his sights on winning the New York City Marathon. In 2009, with a time of 2:09:15, he became the first American to win the race since 1982.
The challenges did not end there. In 2011, Nike declined to renew his contract. Though Keflezighi still had other sponsors, he relied on the shoe brand for the bulk of his financial support.
He went without a shoe contract until August of that year, when Skechers stepped up.
“They took a risk,” Keflezighi said. “They gave me a one-year contract.
“I said, I need more than that, but let’s see how it goes,” he added. “And it went really well.”
In 2012, Keflezighi made the U.S. Olympic team and placed fourth in the summer Olympics marathon. “Finishing fourth, that kind of sparked a little light in me to say, ’Hey, I can still win,” he said.
In 2014, he did win, coming in first in the Boston Marathon, with a time of 2:08:37. At the time, he was the first American man to come in first since 1983. The race was one year after the notorious bombing. To pay tribute to victims of that terror attack, Keflezighi wrote their names with marker in small letters on his bib.
“As a lead athlete, they tell you not to tamper with your bib, but I took a risk,” Keflezighi said. “I just wrote it with a Sharpie to give them respect and to draw inspiration from them.”
In 2017, Keflezighi retired at the New York City Marathon after running 26 marathons.
Today, he works to inspire other runners through the Meb Foundation, which works to help promote children’s health, education and fitness.
Last week, he was inducted into the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame, 10 years after his New York City Marathon win. And the lessons he has learned along the way inform his advice for other runners.
When Nike pulled their contract, Keflezighi still had the support of other sponsors. However, the loss of that income prompted the athlete and his wife to scale back financially.
They rented their home in San Diego and moved to Mammoth Lakes, California, to cut down on commuting costs. And for a long time, they had one car for the family.
“It’s not how much you make, it’s what you do with that money,” Keflezighi said. “You have to be a saver, and that’s what we try to do.”
Participating in races is a great way to increase your motivation. But nothing compares to running a full marathon, according to Keflezighi.
“I tell people you should do one marathon in your lifetime,” Keflezighi said. “After that, it’s optional.”
That’s because running that 26.2-mile distance can teach you things that running a half marathon or 10K or 5K race can’t, he said.
“If you can overcome those challenges to get ready for a marathon and get to that finish line, it changes your life,” Keflezighi said. “You are going to find something you never thought you were capable of doing.”
It’s important to stay focused on your goals, even when you are faced with setbacks.
“You go through ups and downs in life, and you go through ups and downs in training,” Keflezighi said.
With the sport often come injuries. The beauty of running, Keflezighi said, is you can scale down your efforts or cross train with another activity, such as swimming or biking.
“If you’re hurting, get healthy, refocus and set a new goal,” Keflezighi said.
The same goes for long-term achievements that you look to accomplish in life, he said. For those goals, it’s important to remember that one setback does not have to interfere with your progress over months or even years.
“Don’t give up on your dreams,” Keflezighi said.(11/10/2019) ⚡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...
Abdi Abdirahman broke Bernard Lagat’s US masters marathon record, on Sunday, running 2:11:34 for ninth place in the TCS New York City Marathon. Lagat’s record of 2:12:10 was set only four months ago at the Gold Coast Marathon in July.
Abdirahman is a four-time Olympian who competed in the 10,000m and marathon. His time on Sunday was a heartbreaking four seconds away from Olympic standard.
Another notable American performance came from Jared Ward, who finished sixth in one of his fastest-ever marathons. Ward crossed the line in 2:10:45, making him the first American. He was followed closely by Abdirahman, and the third American spot went to 23-year-old Connor McMillan, who finished in tenth in 2:12:07 (just shy of the Olympic standard of 2:11:30.)
The American marathon trials are only three months away, and the race is shaping up to be one of the most competitive trials in history. After the so-called American men’s marathon drought of 2018, 2019 has shown that the US men are back and ready for a strong Olympic year. In 2019 alone, nine men have run under Olympic standard, a vast improvement upon 2018, when Galen Rupp was the only runner who cleared 2:11:30.(11/06/2019) ⚡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...
An unsponsored Ethiopian from the open field took third place. Girma Bekele Gebre did not start with the elite runners, but still placed.
After the race, Gebre looked somewhat bewildered standing there next to two of the most decorated distance runners in the world. He has no agent, flew to New York from Ethiopia a few days before the race and stayed with a friend in the Bronx. He won $40,000.
“I started back in the second group, and just ran really fast to catch up,” he said through an interpreter. “I love running in New York. When the crowds were cheering for me, I felt really special joy.”
Gebre had been living in New York, but returned to Ethiopia in the spring when one of his brothers died while working on their farm.(11/04/2019) ⚡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...
Proving again that age is no barrier to the distance or pace of elite marathon running, Sinead Diver finished a superb fifth best woman in the New York Marathon, her time of 2:26:23 equally rewarding over what is one of the toughest of all the big city courses.
Improving on her seventh place finish in the London Marathon back in April, Diver was also closing fast on the fourth-placed Nancy Kiprop from Kenya, finishing just two seconds behind, the top four women all from the East African nations that typically dominate the long distances.
Although quietly insistent about not making a big deal about her age, now just four months shy of her 43rd birthday, Diver’s performance is among the most impressive in the now 49 years of the New York Marathon, especially given the mother of two, who still works full-time as a software developer, only took up running at 33.
Her best time remains the 2:24:11 she clocked in London just six months ago, although New York is rarely a place to run records of any sort. Still very much the Irish woman running for Australia - as Diver is happy and proud to put it - it’s also the best Irish performance in the race after Mark Carroll took sixth place in the men’s race in 2002.
With outright victory and the $100,000 top prize going to Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2:22:38, just seven seconds shy of the course record and the second fastest women’s time ever run in New York, this was also one of the most competitive races in those 49 years.
Kenya’s four-time previous winner Mary Keitany was broken by Jepkosgei in the closing miles and ended up second in 2:23:33, with the top Ethiopian Ruti Aga, who won the Tokyo Marathon back in March, third in 2:25:51.
Unlike the other Marathon Majors, New York also doesn’t employ pacemakers, male or female, which also makes it a true run race. Diver actually put herself at the very front from just after the starting canon, setting the pace from the start on Staten Island and over the Verrazzano Bridge into Brooklyn.
Diver then endured a slight detour around the three-mile when directed to the wrong side of a course crash barrier, forcing her to duck under some race tap to escape, but she quickly regained her composure.
After the East African women pressed ahead before halfway, Diver held her own pace, passing halfway in 1:12:02, average out at 5:35-mile pace: the American Desiree Linden, former winner of the Boston Marathon, who also set the pace early on, was reeled in over the final miles and ended up sixth 2:26:46, still one of the fastest times by any American run in New York.
With around 52,500 starters, the biggest of the big city marathons, the testing course, winds through the Five Boroughs, before finishing up through the rolling hills of Central Park, rarely lets up and neither did Diver.
“New York will be hilly and I prefer flat courses, but the experience of just racing for placing will be great practice leading into Tokyo,” she said beforehand, her 2:24:11 from London almost certain to get her on the start line for that Olympic marathon next summer, where she be will representing Australia, and the clearly now not unrealistic medal contender.
New York will likely be her last marathon before the Olympics. Having missed out on Rio 2016 due to a knee injury caused by the cuboid bone in her foot, competing in Tokyo will be extra special for Diver.
Recently taking a small leave of absence from here full-time work as a software developer in order to prepare of for New York, she said: “If you feel good enough to do it then give it a go,” she says about racing so competitively at age 42. “Nobody else can tell you what your body is capable of. There is nothing to suggest that when you turn 40 you need to fall apart. It hasn’t happened for me and I feel fitter than I was ten years ago. If I can do it then I can’t see why other people can’t do it too.”
She’s come a long way from her native Belmullet in Mayo, then Limerick and now Melbourne, where she moved in 2002 with her Limerick-born husband Colin, now also home to their two sons young Eddie (nine) and Dara (six).
Just over a month ago she clocked an excellent 31:25:49 to finish 14th in the World Championships 10,000m in the searing heat of Doha, a world record for a woman over the age of 40. Her 2:24:11 in London improved by over a minute the 2:25:19 she ran to win the Melbourne Marathon in October 2018, that already the second fastest ever by an Irish woman, her London time now the third fastest by Australian standards.
Her remarkable running story (and unfortunate “switch” to Australia, after Athletics Ireland refused to select her for the 2015 World Championship marathon in Beijing) has been told before: within six months of winning Melbourne last year, Diver also improved her track times over 5,000m (15:23.65) and 10,000m (31:50.98), before running 1:08:55 for the half marathon in Japan in February, also the fastest ever time for a woman over the age of the 40.
Geoffrey Kamworor made it a Kenyan double by winner the men’s race in 2:08:13, the best non-African finisher there being the American Jared Ward in sixth, in 2:10:45, making Diver the outright best non-African finisher on the day. Superb running by any standards.(11/03/2019) ⚡AMP
The world record holder for the women's half marathon running 1:04:51 in 2017, Joyciline Jepkosgei in her marsthon debut out-ran last year's winner Mary Keitany to win this year's New York City Marathon clocking 2:22:38. Keitany finished second in 2:23:32. Both are from Kenya.
Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden lead much of the first half and held on to be the first American placing sixth running 2:26:49 just three seconds ahead of Kellyn Taylor also from the US who ran an amazing well paced race.
Australian, 42-year-old Sinead Diver placed 5th clocking 2:26:23. At one point early she took the lead and looked in control.
It was 46 degrees at the start and the wind at points did slow down the times. Over 52,000 runners started.
Kenyan's Geoffrey Kamworor who set the world record for the half marathon in Copenhagen running 58:01 in September ran away from the field to win the men's race clocking 2:08:13. This was his second win. Albert Korir placed second clocking 2:08:36.
Jared Ward was sixth overall and first American clocking 2:10:45. There were many outstanding performances today. 71-year-old Gene Dykes finish with 3:11:19.(11/03/2019) ⚡AMP
Des Linden could have retired this spring a legend of the sport in the United States: two Olympic teams, nine top-five finishes at World Marathon Majors, and the crown jewel, a win at the 2018 Boston Marathon. But she chose to press on, motivated by what excites her, rather than what is expected of her. Her Boston win gave her the freedom to leave behind the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project and go solo, returning to college coach Walt Drenth.
Now in her fourth Olympic cycle, she goes into every marathon knowing that it could be her last. If she runs another it is because she wants to — not because it’s the best way for her to prepare for the Olympic Trials or the Games themselves.
“It is a different mentality where you don’t put down a race four years out and work backward,” Linden says.
As one of professional running’s elder stateswomen, Linden isn’t afraid to share her opinion on the sport’s most pressing issues, either. During the course of 33 minutes with the press today ahead of Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon, Linden put a voice to the concerns facing many athletes sponsored by shoe companies other than Nike, and thus unable to run in Vaporflys, the chunky-soled neon racing flats that have changed the sport of marathoning.
Asked whether there was a level playing field in the sport right now facing Nike athletes in Vaporflys, Linden, who remains sponsored by Brooks, did not equivocate.
“No. I think every company has a different pace that they’re working at. So, we’re all obviously behind to begin with.”
More on that in a minute, but let’s remember the purpose of Linden’s visit to New York. She is running marathon #19 of her career on Sunday, and both Linden and her agent Josh Cox believe she is very fit right now, despite an awful showing at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half in September (76:08, the slowest half marathon of her career by over three minutes).
“Everything went wrong in Philly,” Linden said, adding that she picked up a minor hamstring injury before the race. “I had an amazing segment as a whole…I had one bad day, it was just a very public bad day.”
Linden is ready to roll in New York and holding off any decisions on retirement until after the race. It all depends on how her body recovers. If she feels she can produce a performance to be proud of, she’ll be on the start line at the Olympic Trials in Atlanta in February.
“It will be, do I have the ability to compete on the roads and be proud of how I’m competing?” Linden says. “And is it something that is showcasing all the hard work — is this really paying off anymore? And when I feel like I’m putting too much in and I’m not getting results that I’m happy with or appreciating, I’ll switch to the trails or the ultras or something different.”
Now about those shoes: Linden has mixed feelings.
“It’s exciting times, but it’s confusing as well,” Linden says.
Exciting because Nike has spurred innovation across the sport. Linden won Boston last year in Brooks prototypes and her shoes at NYC last fall featured a carbon fiber plate, one of the Vaporflys’ key features.
“As a Brooks athlete, it’s been fun seeing them respond and say, ‘OK. Let’s get in the game. Let’s make something awesome’ and not ‘Let’s play catch up.’ They are in the lab going, ‘Let’s be better. Let’s be the best.’”
All that innovation has led to the fastest times the sport has ever seen, but Linden says that one of running’s great appeals — the ability to compare times across eras — is more complicated than ever.(11/02/2019) ⚡AMP
With 26.2 miles stretching across the five boroughs, the marathon route provides no shortage of spots to root on fatigued runners. Here’s a guide to the top places.
The places where runners need you most
The New York City course is set apart from other marathons in part because of the five bridges that carry runners between boroughs. The bridges are deceivingly tough hills, made trickier by their exposure to the wind and, because they are devoid of spectators, their relative silence.
So, when runners get back on land, it helps to have a boost from a raucous crowd.
“Between the solitude and the challenge that a bridge brings, getting to the other side and seeing people or hearing people cheer is really special,” Mr. Capiraso said.
That support is particularly crucial toward the start of the race, after runners descend from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and head onto Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
At that point, runners will have completed a two-mile stretch including a steep hill. By cheering there, you’ll keep them buoyant in the face of the daunting miles ahead.
“The Verrazzano bridge is beautiful and iconic, but there aren’t people cheering on it,” Mr. Capiraso said. “So, when you get to Brooklyn, it’s a great cheering zone.”
If you want to be particularly inspiring, travel toward the 20-mile mark, where marathon runners often experience “the wall,” a challenging period when energy wanes.
To help racers push through, head toward East 138th Street in the Bronx, a relatively short stretch of the race, or to Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, which runners divert around before heading down Fifth Avenue toward the finish line.
Both locations also tend to be less crowded than the miles that follow, making it more likely that you’ll see a particular runner you’re pulling for.The places where the party is
The streets of New York are always lively, but the marathon brings a particularly energetic atmosphere. People crowd the sidewalks with signs, ring bells for hours and play music for both the runners and the crowd.
st Church, where congregants spill out of morning services to serenade marathon participants.
In the second half of the course, runners are met with another burst of sound on First Avenue in Manhattan, between 59th and 96th Streets.
Near 59th Street, marathoners who just finished scaling a challenging and quiet hill on the Queensboro Bridge are greeted with a cacophony of people screaming at runners, clanging noisemakers and banging drums.
The sidewalks here are generally clogged (though they thin out as the race heads uptown). But the energy is so high that it can carry runners as some of them start to hit the wall.
The places where you won’t have to log too many miles
For many city residents, the race winds through their neighborhoods. If you’re one of them, consider staying put.
“If the marathon runs through your neighborhood, your local place is always great,” Mr. Capiraso said. “Because you know the area, and you’ll know the people around.”
The course also has a number of subway stations along the route, a boon for those who need to travel to spots on the course. Notably, the R train runs under the course on Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn, which makes for easy spectating in an early stretch where runners are still plenty enthused.
The sidewalks nearest to subway stations, however, tend to be the most crowded. So, if you’re trying to see a specific runner at a specific spot, give yourself extra time to get settled.
You’ll also want to check with runners about their start time. The first athletes cross the start line at 8:30 a.m., but the last wave of runners won’t begin the race until 11 a.m.(11/02/2019) ⚡AMP
For most of the elite field competing at this weekend’s New York City Marathon, running has been a lifelong pursuit; years of extreme tunnel vision from an early age in search of physical excellence. Australia’s Sinead Diver, however, has taken a very different and much more unconventional route to the start line at Staten Island.
Born and raised in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland, Diver flirted with a few sports at a recreational level in her early years, but never had any desire to participate in running.
“When I was a child I played soccer and basketball and I did a bit of swimming. However, when I was in secondary school I just played basketball. We didn’t have any physical education classes and girls weren’t really allowed to play sport at my school.”
Having lived in Ireland until the age of 25, she moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2002 with her now husband Colin and has lived there for the past 17 years.
“It was for a bit of adventure. I wanted to travel. There were loads of Irish people going to Australia and I always wanted to go. It just seemed like the place to be. We decided to go for a year and ended up staying long term.”
It wasn’t until eight years later, at the age of 33, that Diver finally got involved in athletics, accidentally discovering her talent when competing in a fun run while trying to get fit after giving birth to Eddie, the first of her two children.
“My sister was organising a team for a fun running event at her work. She needed somebody to fill in on her team as they were missing someone, so she asked me would I run. One of the guys there thought I was pretty quick and said I should join a running club.”
She joined the ‘Crosbie Crew’ coached by Tim Crosbie soon after and progressed rapidly. She initially competed at national level in Australia and flirted with different distances on the track and roads before making her big breakthrough in 2014 in her debut marathon in Melbourne.
Running 2:34:15, Diver easily achieved the qualification standard for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 and faced a difficult decision on which country to represent; Ireland or Australia.
“I thought I would run for Ireland. I’m Irish after all. But then Athletics Ireland changed their qualifying time for Beijing to 45 seconds faster than my time from Melbourne. It was upsetting and I took it a bit personally.
“Thankfully Athletics Australia offered me a spot on the team and by then I had lived in Australia for 12 years and I was set up there, so I was delighted to represent them and have done so ever since.”
Diver finished 21st in the marathon in Beijing and followed it up with 20th at the IAAF World Championships London 2017. Since making her breakthrough into world class territory with a clocking of 2:25:19 at last year’s Melbourne Marathon, she has joined the Melbourne Track Club coached by Nick Bideau, parting ways with her long-time coach Tim Crosbie.
“I got a great base with Tim and the ‘Crosbie Crew’ but moving to Nick has helped me take the next step in my running career. I’ve moved to the next level and my training has changed quite a bit. I’m now training in a group of elite athletes and being around them has made a massive difference to my running. I’m really glad I made the move.”
The switch has paid dividends with Diver, finishing an impressive seventh at this year’s London Marathon in 2:24:11, securing qualification for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. She followed it up with 14th in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 with 31:25.49, just half a second outside the automatic Olympic qualification standard.
“The London Marathon was brilliant. I went there aiming for 2:23 but unfortunately it was a bit windy. I led the race for half of it which was unexpected and was a bit of fun. I really loved the experience.”
With Olympic qualification secured, Diver will look to place highly in New York on Sunday, rather than focus on bettering her PB.
“New York will be hilly and I prefer flat courses, but the experience of just racing for placing will be great practice leading into Tokyo. To get the opportunity to run in that calibre of field in New York is really special.”
New York will likely be the 42-year-old’s last marathon before the Olympics. Having missed out on Rio 2016 due to a knee injury caused by the cuboid bone in her foot, competing in Tokyo will be extra special for Diver.
“Missing out on Rio was really hard to stomach, so to compete in Tokyo would be a dream come true. The Olympics is the pinnacle of sport. It would be amazing to be part of it.”
Now aged 42 and showing no signs of slowing down, Diver believes it’s never too late to take up a sport for the first time and that people should ignore those who say it’s not possible to excel at a mature age.
“If you feel good enough to do it then give it a go. Nobody else can tell you what your body is capable of. There is nothing to suggest that when you turn 40 you need to fall apart. It hasn’t happened for me and I feel fitter than I was ten years ago.
“If I can do it then I can’t see why other people can’t do it too.”(11/02/2019) ⚡AMP
The men’s race looks a wide-open affair, with Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa trying to complete a swift double over the distance, having taken gold in the marathon at the World Championships in Doha just four weeks ago.
The 29-year-old has a PB of 2:04:45 that dates back to 2013, and while that may not be world-beating in the current marathon climate, in races like this – with a hilly course and no pacemakers – Desisa is a formidable player. He clocked 2:05:59 to win here last year and in April he finished a close second at the Boston Marathon, just two seconds behind winner Lawrence Cherono.
“After Doha I tried to take recovery training,” said Desisa. “The marathon is not easy but I said I would see [how] my body [was] and if it’s okay. Winning New York before changed my life, changed my future. I don’t know what will happen but I will try my best.”
Geoffrey Kamworor (second photo), the 2017 champion, is also back and the Kenyan will be keen to go one better than his runner-up finish last year. He arrives off the back of a stunning preparation, having set the half marathon world record at 58:01 in Copenhagen back in September.
On Thursday he confirmed preparations went well at his base in Kaptagat, where he has been training alongside his close friend and mentor Eliud Kipchoge. “I did what I normally do to run a marathon,” he said. “I think I’m ready.”
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata looks primed to eventually take victory at a Marathon Major, and this may present an ideal opportunity for the 23-year-old, who has a best of 2:04:49. Tamirat Tola is another who can’t be discounted, a fourth-place finisher here last year who finished sixth in London back in May, clocking 2:06:57. He clocked 59:13 for the half marathon to finish second behind Mo Farah at the Great North Run in September.
US athletes Abdi Abdirahman and Jared Ward lead the home contenders, while Germany’s Arne Gabius and Dutch athlete Michel Butter will lead the European charge. Training partners Brett Robinson and Jack Rayner will fly the flag for Australia.(11/01/2019) ⚡AMP
This race should be a ‘relative’ breeze.
When 70-year-old Allan Weitzman runs in his 11th New York City marathon this Sunday he’ll have plenty of very familiar faces competing alongside him — nearly a dozen of his nephews and nieces, who agreed to lace up to honor their ailing aunt, The Post has learned.
It was the brave way Weitzman’s wife Regina, 67, has dealt with her lupus over the last 22 years that inspired the couple’s 11 relatives to run the big race.
“All our nieces and nephews who’ve spent time with Regina think she’s a hero,” Allan said.
“She’s been a role model as somebody who lives with hope, with a smile on her face all the time and the belief of the miracle that one day there will be life without lupus.”
Regina was diagnosed in 1997 with the inflammatory disease, that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues. Since then, she’s had had to deal with daily fatigue, muscle aches and joint pains, as well as blood clots, seizures and regular trips to doctors and hospitals.
But “she’s never played the victim card, never complained, never says ‘why me?'” Allan said.
When Allan ran his last marathon in 2014, to raise money for lupus research, one of his nephews told him he wanted to be included in the next race and, “we grew from two to three and all of a sudden there were 12 of us.”
The group — nine nieces and nephews and two of their partners — range in age from late 20s to early 30s. Three live in New York and the rest are coming from as near as Boston and Jacksonville to as far as Finland.
None of them had ever attempted a marathon when they signed up, and some had never seriously run at all.
Over the last year, they’ve all trained virtually on a group chat where they encourage each other with photos and videos, provide updates on their progress, give and receive tips and discuss how to treat aches and pains.
“We’ve all been comparing notes [and] I think they’re ready,” said Allan, by far the most experienced runner in the group.
The retired attorney ran his first eight New York City Marathons in the 1980s and 90s when he and Bronx-born Regina lived on the Upper East Side.
The couple — who met on a blind date at the Waldorf Astoria and wed a year to the day later in 1984 — moved to Boca Raton, Fla., in 1994. Allan, who is originally from Baltimore ran the marathon again in 2013 and 2014.
Every time he’s raced, Regina cheers him on from 69th Street and 1st Ave — and Allan pauses to give her a kiss.
“I’m not worried about time, she deserves a hug and kiss,” Allan said. “Every day I have Regina, I’m a lucky guy.”(11/01/2019) ⚡AMP
The all-women marathon World Record holder won the NYC Marathon for the fourth Time last year after beating compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot and USA’s Shalane Flanagan, who came in second and third, respectively, by more than three minutes. Keitany previously won the race in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In an exclusive interview with Nation Sport, Keitany said she has prepared well and is ready to fight for the title.
“I’m ready to go to New York and fight to defend my title again for the fifth time having won it four times. I know it’s not easy, but I’m certain the three months training I have undergone will enable me to do my best,” said Keitany.
“I’m happy that I have won the race (New York Marathon) several times and again if I’m to win this time it will turn out historical. To me and my family, winning this marathon the fifth time will be a great achievement.”
For the fourth time in five years, Keitany sped past more than 50,000 runners to win the women’s race with a time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, and 48 seconds last year. This made her time the second fastest in the history of the New York race. Kenya's Margaret Okayo holds the course record of 2:22:31 set in 2003.
Keitany joined Grete Waitz as the only woman to win the New York City Marathon four times or more. She will have to win a few more times to beat Waitz’s record, though. Between 1978 and 1988, the Norwegian runner won the marathon nine times.
Keitany said that the secret to prosperity requires athletes to train well and athletes must learn to persevere because nothing comes easy. She said one should have a dream and must be focused. They ought to have an attitude and should be mentally focused so as to fulfil their goals.
For Keitany, discipline and perseverance are key in her sports career. "You must put God first for you to prosper," she said.
The athlete said training may not be easy but athletes must be disciplined if they are to succeed in sports. Some promising athletes have destroyed their careers due to indiscipline.
Keitany set the women-only marathon record when she won the London Marathon in 2017. She has also held records for best half marathon time and best 10-mile time. She also has titles from London Marathon she won in 2012, 2016, and 2017.(10/30/2019) ⚡AMP
For Long Island native Adriel Fernandez, the New York City Marathon is more than just a race -- it's a major milestone after going blind two years ago. Before his life changed forever, Fernandez was on active duty with the Navy and enjoyed an active lifestyle.
He was involved in a major motorcycle accident that broke almost every bone in his body and blinded him. Fernandez was determined from the start to stay fit and not let his lack of sight stop him from being like everyone else.
"People told me about the things I couldn't do anymore and I just kind of got fed up with that," Fernandez said." I didn't want people to tell me how to live my life, I wasn't going to let anyone else tell me what my limitations were."
Fernandez met his running guide, John Reynolds, through Achilles International, an organization which empowers people with disabilities to participate in mainstream running events.
Reynolds started training with Achilles International every Saturday in Central Park. Then he met Fernandez, who like Reynolds is from Long Island, and they decided to train closer to home.
The pair have been running together since last February and have found their rhythm just in time for the TCS New York City Marathon."It's just motivating to me to see how hard he works in spite of not being able to see, he doesn't let that interfere with his life," Reynolds said.
"I think it should be an example for all of us, you know we're all going to have different things that happen to us in life, but to keep plowing on."This won't be Fernandez's first time running 26.2 miles, but it'll be his first New York City marathon.
He can't wait to hear the roaring crowds and take on this new goal with his guide and now friend, Reynolds, by his side.(10/29/2019) ⚡AMP
With little fanfare, Tyler Pennel has quietly established himself as one of America's top marathoners over the past five years. Despite often being overshadowed by bigger names from high-profile training groups, he's won a national title, played a decisive role in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, and finished in the top five at an Abbott World Marathon Majors race. But he's also dealt with a series of frustrating injuries that have disrupted his momentum and left some unanswered questions about his true potential.
With the next Olympic Trials looming this winter, the 31-year-old Pennel will make his comeback at the distance on November 3, at the TCS New York City Marathon. It will be his first marathon in 18 months and only his fourth race at any distance this year. "I'm a little nervous," Pennel told Race Results Weekly in a recent telephone interview from Blowing Rock, N.C., where he lives and trains as part of the On ZAP Endurance group. "That first race back is always a shock to the system. A lot of it is mentally remembering what it feels like to race."
Pennel grew up in Golden, Colo,, and had an impressive career at Western State College (since renamed Western Colorado University), winning the NCAA Division II title over 10,000 meters as a senior in 2012. He joined the ZAP Endurance group shortly after graduating and made his 26.2-mile debut at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2014, which doubled as the USA Track & Field championship that year. He pulled off a surprise win that day, setting a still-standing personal best of 2:13:32.
He carried that momentum into 2015 with a series of strong results on the roads and track (including lowering his best in the mile to 3:58.99), and headed into the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials riding high with confidence. Perhaps too high. On a hot day in Los Angeles, Pennel took the lead in the 16th mile and forced the pace for the next several miles. The tempo ultimately took a toll and he faded to fifth place in 2:14:57, missing a spot on the squad for the Rio Games by just under two minutes.
"The Trials was my second marathon, and I think since I had a good first one maybe I was a little bit overconfident," he says. "Initially when I made that move I felt great. That first mile that I led I was almost shocked nobody went with me. That's how good I felt. It wasn't until after I started pressing after that first mile of leading that it really hurt."
Since that disappointment, a variety of injuries prevented Pennel from consistently training and racing. He's put together some bright spots, including finishing eighth at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2016 and running to a gutsy fourth-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon during the now-infamous nor'easter that turned the race into a cold, wet and windy war of attrition. But after taking third-pace at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta in July 2018 he didn't race again for 11 months, first battling a sacral stress fracture, followed this past winter and spring by a bout of osteitis pubis (inflammation of the tissues around the pubic bone). That's the same injury that plagued marathoner Laura Thweatt.
Pennel has been healthy since May, but raced sparingly during his preparation for New York. "The build-up has been really stellar," says On ZAP Endurance coach Pete Rea. "He was able to train through the summer and put together a full marathon build-up cycle. In terms of actual true consistency and healthy running for months and months, that had not happened for Tyler since 2016 until these last six months."
Pennel has been making adjustments to his routine to avoid injuries, including taking one day off from running each week. "If anything I would say he has really made a conscious effort to try to hit fewer home runs in training since, in some respects, that's what got him in trouble in the past," Rea says. "He's actually running more quickly at a lower intensity. He's working less-hard in terms of intensity, but it seems far more comfortable than it did a few years ago."(10/29/2019) ⚡AMP
With happy tears I announce today that I am retiring from professional running. From 2004 to 2019 I’ve given everything that’s within me to this sport and wow it’s been an incredible ride! I’ve broken bones, torn tendons, and lost too many toenails to count. I've experienced otherworldly highs and abysmal lows. I've loved (and learned from) it all.
Over the last 15 years I found out what I was capable of, and it was more than I ever dreamed possible. Now that all is said and done, I am most proud of the consistently high level of running I produced year after year. No matter what I accomplished the year before, it never got any easier. Each season, each race was hard, so hard. But this I know to be true: hard things are wonderful, beautiful, and give meaning to life. I’ve loved having an intense sense of purpose. For 15 years I've woken up every day knowing I was exactly where I needed to be.
The feeling of pressing the threshold of my mental and physical limits has been bliss. I've gone to bed with a giant tired smile on my face and woken up with the same smile. My obsession to put one foot in front of the other, as quickly as I can, has given me so much joy.
However, I have felt my North Star shifting, my passion and purpose is no longer about MY running; it's more and more about those around me. All I’ve ever known, in my approach to anything, is going ALL IN.
So I’m carrying this to coaching. I want to be consumed with serving others the way I have been consumed with being the best athlete I can be.
I am privileged to announce I am now a professional coach of the Nike Bowerman Track Club. This amazing opportunity in front of me, to give back to the sport, that gave me so much, is not lost on me. I’ve pinched myself numerous times to make sure this is real. I am well aware that retirement for professional athletes can be an extremely hard transition. I am lucky, as I know already, that coaching will bring me as much joy and heartache that my own running career gave me.
I believe we are meant to inspire one another, we are meant to learn from one another. Sharing everything I’ve learned about and from running is what I’m meant to do now.I would like to thank: The 5 coaches who guided me throughout my career, Michael Whittlesey and Dennis Craddock (2004-2005), John Cook (2006-2008), Jerry Schumacher (2009-2019), and Pascal Dobert (2009-2019). Each man was instrumental in developing me into the best version of myself.
Jerry, Pascal and I will continue to work together in this next chapter and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Jerry has been my life coach, running coach and now will mentor me towards my next goal of becoming a world-class coach myself. I’m thankful for his unending belief in me.
My family and husband who have traveled the world supporting my running and understanding the sacrifices I needed to make. Their unconditional love is what fueled my training.My longtime friend, Elyse Kopecky who taught me to love cooking and indulge in nourishing food. Run Fast. Eat Slow. has been a gift to my running and to the thousands of athletes.
My teammates, and all the women I've trained with, for pushing me daily, and the endless smiles and miles. They include: Erin Donahue, Shannon Rowbury, Kara Goucher, Lisa Uhl, Emily Infeld, Amy Cragg, Colleen Quigley, Courtney Frerichs, Shelby Houlihan, Betsy Saina, Marielle Hall, Gwen Jorgensen, Kate Grace.
My sponsor Nike for believing in me since 2004 and for continuing to support my new dream as a professional coach. I hope I made myself a better person by running. I hope I made those around me better. I hope I made my competition better. I hope I left the sport better because I was a part of it.
My personal motto through out my career has been to make decisions that leave me with “no regrets”.....but to be honest, I have one. I regret I can’t do it all over again.(10/21/2019) ⚡AMP
Kikkan Randall, who was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after a gold medal in the cross-country skiing team sprint at the 2018 Olympics, will run Nov. 3 in the New York City Marathon as part of a group of people with inspirational stories, race organizers announced Monday.
Randall has been named as one of 26 runners on Team #MovedMe. Other runners in the group include Dave Fraser, who was born with cerebral palsy and will be running his 12th NYC Marathon; Sean Hennessey, a former college athlete and recovering addict; and Mama Cax, a model with a prosthetic leg.
Randall racked up medals in World Cup and World Championship competition from 2009 to 2014 and went into the 2014 Olympics as a heavy favorite in the sprint, but she struggled and lost in the quarterfinals. Four years later, after taking time off to start a family, she and Jessie Diggins teamed up to win the team sprint in Pyeongchang, only the second cross-country skiing medal the U.S. has ever won and the first for U.S. women.
She revealed her breast cancer diagnosis in July 2018 and blogged about her treatment for the next several months. Known for having pink streaks in her hair, she quickly went bald during chemotherapy and showed off her new look in an August 2018 blog post.
In the last few months, she has put more of her story on social media, and she showed that the pink is back.
On July 2, she announced that she had completed infusion treatment.
Randall will be running on behalf of AKTIV Against Cancer, which works to ensure physical activity for cancer patients. Coincidentally, the foundation was established by a nine-time NYC Marathon winner, Grete Waitz.
She is also a board member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.(10/17/2019) ⚡AMP
Aliphine Tuliamuk will race her second TCS New York City Marathon and has had previous success in Central Park with three consecutive podium finishes at the 2016, 2017, and 2018 NYRR New York Mini 10K.
Earlier this year, she finished third at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2:26:48, becoming the first American woman to hit the Olympic qualifying standard for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa, winner of the 2019 Boston Marathon, has scratched from the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon after suffering from metatarsalgia in her left foot which caused her to lose too much training time.
This year’s professional athlete field will include all four previously announced defending champions: Kenya’s Mary Keitany, Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa, the United States’ Daniel Romanchuk, and Switzerland’s Manuela Schär. Keitany will go for her fifth career title in New York, Schär will race for her third consecutive crown, and Desisa and Romanchuk will look to post back-to-back victories.
The 2019 TCS New York City Marathon will be televised live on Sunday, November 3, on WABC-TV, Channel 7 in the New York tristate area, throughout the rest of the nation on ESPN2, and around the world through various international broadcasters.
The TCS New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world and the signature event of New York Road Runners (NYRR), the world’s premier community running organization.
The race is held annually on the first Sunday of November and includes over 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to runners of all ages and abilities, including over 9,000 charity runners. Participants from over 125 countries tour the diverse neighborhoods of New York City’s five boroughs—Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Race morning also features the Rising New York Road Runners Youth Invitational at the TCS New York City Marathon, a race within Central Park that ends at the marathon finish line.
More than one million spectators and 10,000 volunteers line the city’s streets in support of the runners, while millions more watch the globally televised broadcast. The race is a founding member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which features the world’s top marathons—Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, is the premier partner of NYRR and the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon.(10/03/2019) ⚡AMP
Des Linden of Charlevoix, Michigan, who won the 2018 Boston Marathon, will compete in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Linden, 36, who used to train with the Michigan-based Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, became the first American woman since 1985 to win the Boston Marathon when she prevailed in 2018.
Linden, who is a two-time Olympian, finished sixth in last year’s New York City Marathon.
“The New York Road Runners always assemble a world class field, and I look forward to racing the world’s best through New York’s five boroughs,” Linden said.
“The championship-style race and the challenging course suit me well. I’m already looking forward to race day.”(09/19/2019) ⚡AMP
Ginette Bedard is a New York running celeb. She was among the oldest runners on Sunday at the Fifth Avenue Mile.
It doesn’t matter how far away it is or how fast she gets there—masters runner Ginette Bedard still loves a finish line.
“The finish line is beautiful,” says Bedard, 86, who holds the U.S. marathon record for 75 to 79-year-old women, a mark she set in 2008 when she ran 4:08:31 at the New York City Marathon. “If you don’t race, you don’t see a finish line.”
“The shorter the run, the faster you have to run,” says Bedard, who grew up in France before moving to Queens in 1972. “It’s stressful, but it’s beautiful. Everyone is applauding, and oh la la, it’s euphoria.”
She’s learned a lot since that 2002 race, when she wore a wig. It didn’t go well.
“Biggest mistake,” she says. “I had to hold my wig while I was running, and it slowed me down. Never again did I wear a wig.”
Despite the hair fiasco, she ran 7:27 in her first one-mile race.
At the Fifth Avenue Mile on Sunday which she has run every year since 2002, she clocked 11:34 and finished second in her age group. Afterwards she said she has no plans to take a break. Bedard is gearing up for the 2019 New York City Marathon on November 3, a race she has completed 16 consecutive times.
“I’m 86, but I don’t feel 86,” she says. “I have no health problems whatsoever.”
Bedard has always been a masters runner. She didn’t start running until she was 68, urged on by some coworkers while working at an airline at JFK Airport.
Bedard soon discovered that she not only loved running, she had untapped talent. At the 2005 New York City Marathon, Bedard, then 72, ran 3:46:18, setting a U.S. record for 70- to 74-year-old women.(09/10/2019) ⚡AMP
The 40-year-old is a late bloomer and wants to secure marathon’s top-priced title before her final bow and transition to the master’s category.
“I am looking forward to my first big city marathon debut in New York City. This will culminate to reward my years of hard work, learning and growth,” Kiprop said.
Inspired by her latest win in Vienna, Kiprop will take on countrywoman and defending champion Mary Keitany, world half marathon record holder Joyceline Jepkosgei and America’s Olympian Des Linden.
The former Valencia marathon silver medalist remains optimistic of pulling a surprise in New York despite her time being the fourth-fastest among the elite.
“Time and past records count for less on the race day. I always believe in myself. Only three athletes are above me and there is a big gap between 2:18 and 2:22 but that won’t worry me much. I have finally matured for the big races unlike in the past. ran 2:22.12.I am ready to battle for the title,” said Kiprop.
Last year, Keitany, who is the world record holder, became the second woman after Grete Waitz of Norway to win in New York four times, recording the second-fastest time in the event history in 2:22:48 for her fourth win in five years.
“I’m very excited to return on November 3 to race for my fifth New York City Marathon title on my favorite course in the world,” Keitany said.(08/29/2019) ⚡AMP
Having said earlier this month that he intended to contest the 10,000m title in the world championships for a third time.
Kamworor, who recently won Kenya’s national championships in the 10,000m, says he prefers to focus on the TCS New York City Marathon, which he narrowly won in 2017 over countryman and former world record-holder Wilson Kipsang. It was Kamworor’s eighth marathon. This year’s event runs November 3, which is only 10 weeks away.
Kamworor, who has also won the world half-marathon championships three times, made the announcement today, after winning the 10,000m title over Rhonex Kipruto and Rodgers Kwemoi in Nairobi yesterday. (Kipruto ran the fastest 10K time on American soil at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta last month in 27:01.
Kamworor was second in the 10,000m at the 2015 world championships, and sixth in 2017. The last time a Kenyan man won the 10,000m in the world championships was 2001, when Charles Kamathi took the title from Haile Gebrselassie in Edmonton.)
Sir Mo Farah of the UK has won the last three world championships, but Farah, too, has given up the track in favour of the marathon. He will race the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13.
According to the announcement, Alex Oloitiptip has been selected to represent Kenya in the 10,000m in Doha.(08/23/2019) ⚡AMP
Sasha Gollish will join defending champion Mary Keitany, 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden, 2019 Boston champion Worknesh Degefa, and half-marathon world record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei on the start line on Staten Island in November.
Sinead Diver of Australia, 2019 Comrades Marathon champion Gerda Steyn of South Africa and Americans Sara Hall, Allie Kieffer, Lindsey Scherf and Kellyn Taylor round out the exceptionally deep field of women athletes racing New York this year.
On the men’s side, notable names include defending champion Lelisa Desisa, 2017 champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Somali-American Abdi Abdirahman, Ethiopians Shura Kitata and Tamirat Tola and American Jared Ward, who finished eighth at this year’s Boston Marathon.
Gollish had a long and successful career in track and cross-country, winning bronze in the 1,500m at the 2015 Pan Am Games before attempting her debut marathon attempt at Berlin last year.
She was forced to drop out just after the 30K mark with severe cramping, but had a very successful comeback at Houston in January, finishing in 2:32 just behind fellow Canadian Malindi Elmore, who was also taking her first stab at the marathon distance.
Gollish, it should be pointed out, has the world championship standard in the marathon (2:37:00), and so far only Lyndsay Tessier has been named to Team Canada. Athletics Canada will announce the full team on August 26.(08/13/2019) ⚡AMP
When Kellyn Taylor was plotting the lead up to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, she had already checked “run a fast marathon time” off her to-do list, by way of the 2:24:28 she clocked at the 2018 Grandma’s Marathon. What else did she want to accomplish before the big show?
“I’ve done New York City once and it was my highest placing [in a major marathon] ever,” Taylor said, during a phone interview with Women’s Running. “It was my favorite marathon to date. For me, it’s more about not feeling stagnant before the Trials—I perform best when I come off a big buildup.”
The tactical nature of the New York City Marathon, combined with the hillier terrain of the course will serve as good practice for the Trials course that she’ll run on February 29, in Atlanta. And the competition she’ll face? On the American side, it will also look familiar, joined by a stellar international presence as well.
New York City Marathon officials announced the full professional field on Tuesday, and it includes Mary Keitany of Kenya, the defending champion who has won the race four times already. It also includes Ruti Aga of Ethiopia with a 2:18:34 personal best, and Worknesh Degefa, also of Ethiopia, who has a 2:17:41 best and won the 2019 Boston Marathon. Joyciline Jepkosgei, the world record holder in the half marathon (1:04:51) from Kenya is also slated to compete.
Taylor will face off with a number of U.S. women who she’ll compete with in February at the Trials, where the top three finishers will earn a place on the 2020 Olympic team. Desiree Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon champion and two-time Olympian, will race, as well as Sara Hall, who has a 2:26:20 best. Allie Kieffer (2:28:12) is scheduled to return to racing, too, after tending to injuries over the past year, along with Diane Nukuri.
When Taylor ran the 2017 New York City Marathon, she placed eighth in 2:29:56. She came away with a few key lessons she’ll try to remember on November 3.
“Having faith in your abilities is the biggest thing. The last time, I didn’t make the first big move that everybody else made and found myself separated from the pack,” she said. “I ran the fastest mile of anybody in that race when I caught back up to them, so I need to put myself in it. That’s when the magic happens.”
Taylor is coming off a third-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the U.S.A. Track & Field Outdoor Championships, which is her best finish at a national track championships. It leaves her with another notch of confidence heading into 2020.(08/09/2019) ⚡AMP
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be racing the TCS New York City Marathon on November 3rd!
Not only do I feel that I’m in the best shape of my life beginning this training cycle, I’m fueled with more inspiration and motivation than ever thanks to my incredibly supportive and encouraging wife Kristin McCandless, and our sweet baby Levi.
I’m thankful to the New York Road Runners (NYRR) for the opportunity, my coach and former NYC Marathon champion Steve Jones & our team Boulder Harriers for always pushing me past my limits, my sponsors Altra Running & rabbit and my family and friends for all the support and positive mojo.
Marathon training requires a big commitment. However, unlike most “professional athletes” I balance training with trying to be the best husband and father I can be as well as working full-time as an atmospheric scientist.
Follow my journey to NYC in a few months, filled with 100+ mile weeks, dirty diapers, publishing scientific research and (hopefully) inspiring you on the way to get out and pursue your dreams too.(08/08/2019) ⚡AMP
Keitany will go for her fifth career title in New York and Desisa will be gunning for a second.
Last year Keitany became the second woman to win in New York in the open division four times, recording the second-fastest time in event history in 2:22:48.
It was her fourth win in five years to become the only woman other than Grete Waitz to win the race four times. Keitany is the women-only marathon world record-holder (2:17:01) and a two-time winner of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, having taken the series titles in 2012 and 2016.
Keitany will be challenged this year by 2019 Boston Marathon champion Worknesh Degefa, 2019 Tokyo Marathon champion Ruti Aga, 2019 NYC Half champion Joyceline Jepkosgei, and 2018 Boston Marathon champion and two-time U.S. Olympian Des Linden.
Joining them at the starting line will also be a strong group of US 2020 Olympic team contenders including Allie Kieffer, Sara Hall, and Kellyn Taylor.
Desisa won his first New York title last year after finishing on the podium three times previously. He held off fellow Ethiopian Shura Kitata by two seconds to finish in 2:05:59, the second-fastest time in event history. Desisa also has two Boston Marathon titles to his name, having won in 2013 and 2015.
Runner-up Kitata will be back again this year to challenge Desisa, as will 2017 winner Geoffrey Kamworor, who finished third last year.
The US contingent will be led by U.S. Olympians Jared Ward and Abdi Abdirahman.(08/08/2019) ⚡AMP
Andy Vernon is amongst a top elite field announced this week for the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon.
After having to withdraw from this year’s London Marathon due to a hamstring injury the AFD man will look to lay down his 26.2 credentials on the stress of New York.
Vernon could be well suited to the hard undulating course and there will keen interest amongst British distance fans to see how the popular athlete runs in his debut marathon. We know his pedigree at cross country and at 10,000m where his has won a European silver medal and has a PB of 27:42 but he remains an unknown quantity at the marathon.
With the IAAF standard now set at 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women the most Brits will have their eyes on courses that offer the best chance for quick times for Tokyo next year.
However the dual qualification system also recognises a top 10 finish in a World Marathon Major event (which includes NYC Marathon). 10th placed finisher Chris Derrick ran 2:13:08 in 2018 and in 2017 the 10th place finisher ran 2:14:57. Despite the profile of the course these times are well within Vernon’s ability but regardless of times the race clearly affords the opportunity to build critical experience before London 2020.
History shows this can be a happy hunting ground for British Athletes. Steve Jones’ winning time of 2:08:20 in 1988 and Paula Radcliffe’s wins in 2004, 2007 and 2008 are testiment to that along with victories for priscilla Welch in 1987 and Liz McColgan in 1991.
In 2018 eight British men went inside 2:30 with Jonny Mellor leading the way in 2:16:09 for 15th place. Three British women ran inside three hours with St Albans Strider Gillian Pease (2:55:14) the fastest.(08/07/2019) ⚡AMP
Next year is a big year, so for qualifiers for the February 2020 trials, there is a heightened sensitivity to fall 2019 marathoning. Some athletes and coaches advocate sitting out a fall marathon to “save up” for the trials. There are certainly exceptions, but elite marathoners typically run 1-2 marathons a year. In contrast, some athletes are looking for the proper tune-up marathon.
Two weeks ago, marathon runners were considering where they were going to chase the standard (2:11:30, top 10 at a World Major Marathon or top 5 at a Gold Label Marathon). Recently, the IAAF granted the U.S. Trial gold label status, meaning a top-3 finish would simultaneously earn an athlete the standard needed and a U.S. selection. I imagine this will have the effect of fewer trials qualifiers racing this fall.
I have chosen to return to the TCS New York City Marathon ahead of the trials for the following reasons.
I have a goal of a top-three finish at a World Major Marathon (NYC, Boston, etc.) and I think this fall presents a great opportunity for me to chase that. I’m coming off my fastest marathon time in Boston last spring, and I am healthy. And I think the New York course is a great course for me.
I love New York. My family and I have had fantastic experiences there and we are giddy to come back. This course also has some amazing energy. I remember last year banking on the crowds coming off the Queensboro Bridge, but feeling carried by the crowds even as early at the 3-mile mark in Brooklyn.
I have a family to feed. The 1-2 marathons/year that I run account for roughly half of my annual income. Coming off a good New York Marathon last fall and a great Boston present unique financial incentives to run.
I think this is going to help my trial race in February. Many athletes consider only the downside of running two marathons in four months, i.e. if you get injured that’s a tough turn-around. But there are upsides too. One is that the Atlanta trials course is hilly. Most major marathons are relatively flat, so experience on hilly courses among elite marathoners is largely in short supply.
Another compelling reason to race is to avoid burnout, which can present problem when training for one huge race so far out. Marathoners especially are known for being fit two months ahead of the trials, and then overcooked by race day. Putting a marathon on my calendar between now and Atlanta offers me a nearer focal point. Then following some forced time off after New York, there will be a healthy amount of time to train for and focus on the trials—not too much, and not too little.
I’ll see you in New York. Then Atlanta.(08/07/2019) ⚡AMP
Kamworor, who won in New York City on his second appearance in 2017, said he wants to make his fourth appearance this year memorable.
“New York has always been important to me and I will be targeting victory, having gained enough experience over the distance,” said Kamworor, who finished second in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 48 seconds on his debut in 2015.
Kamworor, who is the two-time World Half Marathon and World Cross Country champion, would claim victory in 2017, romping home in 2:10:53, before settling for third in 2:06:26 last year, losing the battle to Lelisa Desisa, who clocked 2:05:59.
It will be Kamworor’s ninth career marathon, having made his debut at 2011 Berlin Marathon, where he failed to finish, before he was placed third the following year in the same venue in a personal best of 2:06:12.
Kamworor, 26, is the fourth fastest man in the field after Ethiopians- defending champion Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45), Shura Kitata (2:04:49), who finished second last year and Tamirat Tola (2:04:06), who came in third last year.
Other elite Kenyans in the race are Stephen Sambu (2:11:07), who finished fifth in 2016 and 2017 Chicago Marathon and Albert Korir (2:08:03).(08/07/2019) ⚡AMP
Des Linden says she’s running every marathon as if it’s her last. She could have said goodbye on April 15, finishing fifth in defense of her Boston Marathon title, blowing kisses to the crowd after denying regurgitation.
Instead, Linden plans to race the New York City Marathon for the third time and second year in a row on Nov. 3.
The two-time U.S. Olympian placed fifth in 2014 and sixth in 2018 at the five-borough event. She decided to sign up again after a post-Boston break and a weeklong Hong Kong vacation.
“Just been logging a lot of miles deciding what would be next and got the itch to start doing workouts and getting the longer stuff,” Linden said. “It’s the biggest stage in the world, so it’s hard to pass up on that opportunity. It’s a no-brainer. I like tough, technical courses.”
Linden, 36, could become the oldest female U.S. Olympic marathoner since 2004 next year. But, taking the one-at-a-time mantra that Shalane Flanagan adopted late in her career, she’s not (yet) committing to the Olympic trials on Feb. 29.
Neither of Linden’s previous Olympic experiences was especially memorable. She dropped out of her first Olympic marathon in 2012 with a stress fracture in her femur. She was seventh in Rio, missing a medal by less than two minutes. The Kenyan-born gold and silver medalists were later busted for EPO and are serving lengthy doping bans.
“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove and anything unfinished,” at the Olympics, Linden said. “Quite frankly, the last experience is a hard sell to get back out there to try to compete for medals when you’re not even really sure what the field is all about. It’s a little bit difficult to be excited about that with the way we are about the [World Marathon] Majors. People investing in anti-doping have really been solving that problem [at the majors]. It’s a little tricky [at the Olympics], but certainly representing your country is special.”
Linden did acknowledge that a technical, undulating course like New York could provide ideal preparation for the Olympic trials course in Atlanta that, like New York, is not expected to produce fast times. Linden also dismissed it being too tight of a turnaround from the latest of the fall major marathons to a trials in the winter.
Linden did not race fall marathons in 2011 or 2015 ahead of Olympic trials, though the trials race was earlier each of those years. If she does race at next year’s trials, it would mark her shortest break between marathons of what would be her 20 times contesting the distance.
“There’s ample time to recover and get back at it,” she said. “I don’t need to go and run a fast time or get a qualifier or anything. It was just about picking the race that was going to get me excited.”(08/06/2019) ⚡AMP
A Charlotte woman who spends most of her free time running ultra-marathons was sidelined after a stage four cancer diagnosis. Now, she's on the road to recovery and hopes to be ready in time to run the New York City Marathon this fall.
Stephanie Moore was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018 after she felt persistent stomach pain.
She took some time off for surgery and chemotherapy, but now she's lacing up her sneakers and training for the New York City Marathon.
During the race, she'll be representing the Colon Cancer Foundation, and says she isn't letting the disease slow her down.
"Especially when I'm lacking motivation, it's just...not today. I'm not going to let it beat me today," Moore says. "If I can just get out there and do one or two miles, great. I don't set a huge goal for myself other than just get out there. Get your shoes on, get dressed, get out there. And more often than not, once I get out there I feel good."
As part of running for charity, Moore is raising money for the Colon Cancer Foundation.(07/27/2019) ⚡AMP
When it's Julia Gibson's turn to take hall duty at Gieger Elementary School, she often tells students not to run. Interesting advice considering the fact that she's become quite the runner herself. Gibson has run in 5K and 10K races, as well as half and full marathons. She started running in 2011 after her mom died because of complications from type two diabetes.
"Took a couple years before I kind of figured out that I needed to get my health in check, so right before my 40th birthday I started running," said Gibson.
The fifth and sixth grade teacher has run 26.2 mile marathons around 13 times. She's currently preparing to run in the TCS New York City Marathon. TCS selected 50 teachers to run this year, as part of a contest, and Gibson was one of the winners. Her entire school was excited to hear the news.
"I usually hear people beeping the horns, 'Mrs. Gibson' yelling out the windows," said Gibson. "Cheering me on, or kids will see me Monday morning, 'hey Mrs. Gibson I saw you running over the weekend'."
Gibson runs four to five days a week to train and has been walking with her husband five days a week to help him get motivated to exercise more. The TCS NYC Marathon will be held November 3.(06/20/2019) ⚡AMP
Jogging solo in Florida in near 80 degree Fahrenheit heat, Theresa Winterhalter’s New York City Marathon experience last November looked much different to what you would expect from the world’s biggest marathon.
The 54-year-old was one of 424 people to finish the iconic race’s first “virtual marathon”, an event that race organizers are now expanding. The New York City Marathon will welcome unlimited, free enrolment in its virtual marathon this year, aiming to attract thousands of runners from across the globe.
With 52,813 finishers last year, the New York City Marathon is famously popular with amateurs and pros alike, attracting massive interest in its yearly lottery entry.
Capiraso said he was eager to draw in runners who might be unable to commit to the travel or expenses, and sees huge potential in virtual races.
The plan is an extension of NYRR’s years-long push into virtual products, which have included a training program, and a virtual racing series launched last year that has so far seen over 57,000 finishers.
Virtual marathon participants will log their marathon miles through Strava, a social networking site geared toward athletes, choosing to run on the day of the marathon or one of the three days leading up to it.(06/11/2019) ⚡AMP
Just in time for Global Running Day, Amazon Studios dropped a trailer forBrittany Runs a Marathon, a movie about a woman who sets out to run in the New York City Marathon.
The movie, which is based on a true story about a friend of the film's director Paul Downs Calaizzo, looks like it'll deliver all the feels. The trailer opens with Brittany (played by Jillian Bell) seeking a prescription for Adderall and her doctor suggesting she lose 55 pounds.
After finding that gym memberships are hella pricey (relatable), Brittany starts running outside and sets her sights on the New York City Marathon.
You can't really judge a movie by its trailer, but the film seems more nuanced than the typical woman-loses-weight-and-it-changes-everything formula. As the trailer progresses, Brittany does appear to lose weight. However, a voiceover toward the end of the preview says her journey "was never about" her weight; it was about "taking responsibility" for herself, suggesting a deeper overall takeaway.
A cast interview with The Hollywood Reporter also indicates that Brittany's transformation isn't ultimately attributed to her physical changes in the movie. "You find out that when you do get that money, that car, that body, that boyfriend, that you're not okay, because that actually wasn't the impetus for what needed to change. You needed to heal something on the inside," actress Michaela Watkins remarked during the interview.
In case you need more proof that Brittany Runs a Marathon is gonna be good, the film got a positive review from Indiewire after its debut at Sundance, and won an Audience Award at the festival.
The movie will hit theaters a few months before the actual New York City Marathon. Mark your calendar now for an August 23 release date.(06/09/2019) ⚡AMP
Actress and singer Christy Altomare completed her first-ever half marathon Sunday, but running has long been part of the performer’s life.
“I’ve always used running as my main form of exercise,” Altomare told Page Six. “It grounds me, it calms me, and I know this is weird, but the endorphins from it just make me more centered for my day.”
Altomare, 32, who recently starred in the title role of “Anastasia” on Broadway, participated in the 2019 Shape Women’s Half Marathon, where she also sang the national anthem. She is currently prepping for the New York Road Runners’ premier event, the TSC New York City Marathon — Altomare’s first — in November.
“Over this last year, I decided to start entering the small races with the New York Road Runners, which I entered into the 9+1 program, while I was doing my eight-show week, which was kind of crazy,” she said.
“Looking back on it, I would do a 10-mile run and then do a press event for two hours and then do two shows, so stuff like that would happen, but it was ultimately worth it because I ended up finishing the 9+1 program, which leads you into a guaranteed slot into the marathon.”
The 9+1 program guarantees admission to the TSC New York City Marathon after participants have run nine races and volunteered at one.
Though Altomare never gave much thought to the New York City Marathon, her fiancé, an FDNY fireman, as well as her roommate, inspired her to go the distance.
“The one thing that she [Altomare’s roommate] always says is, ‘You only have to run one marathon to become a marathoner.’ It’s a small percentage of people on this earth that have run a marathon and I think it’s always been a personal goal,” she said.
In addition to switching up her diet, Altomare has also amended her training regimen.
“It’s really about not taking it too far, doing long runs and then short runs and then also, the endurance of going outside versus the treadmill,” she said. “[It’s] also not just working out by running, but using the machines, and working out your arms. A lot of times runners will forget about their arms and really sticking true to stretching before and after a run.”
While the marathon is still months away, Altomare has already envisioned her post-race celebration.
“I’m really excited because my fiancé is going to be running with the firemen this year, and my roommate is also running the marathon, so all three of us will probably celebrate together, which is going to be really exciting,” Altomare shared.(05/13/2019) ⚡AMP
2017 TCS New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan had surgery to repair her right patellar tendon at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado yesterday, and described the situation in an Instagram post earlier today.
Torn patellar tendons typically do not heal on their own, and Flanagan posted on Monday that she would be traveling to Colorado for surgery.
She says her right patellar tendon (which connects the kneecap to the shinbone) was 75 per cent detached, leading the surgeon to graft a new tendon from a cadaver into Flanagan’s leg. She had injections of PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and bone marrow concentrate using bone marrow from her hip into both knees in an effort to speed healing. (PRP has been used with various other famous athletes such as Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal, but there has been very little research on its efficacy.)
The surgery was done by Dr. Robert F. LaPrade, a complex orthopedic knee and sports medicine surgeon at The Steadman Clinic in Vail.
In 2017, Flanagan was the first American woman to win the New York Marathon in 40 years. Last year she finished in third place, behind Mary Keitany and Vivian Cheruiyot.
It was just after that that she revealed the extent of her knee pain. She will likely spend the next few months recovering from surgery.(04/25/2019) ⚡AMP
2017 TCS New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan, who finished third at the same event last year and confessed she almost did not run due to knee pain, posted yesterday that she will need surgery to repair tears in her patellar tendons.
Flanagan has not raced since the 2018 NYC marathon.
Flanagan, who grew up in Massachusetts, sat in the broadcast booth at Monday’s Boston Marathon for WBZ TV, the local CBS affiliate.
Last year, she finished a disappointing seventh, in extremely challenging weather conditions, with a time of 2:46:31, though there was no indication she was dealing with injury until the late fall.
The marathoner has had one of the strongest running careers in American distance history. She began as a high school star, continued her dominance at the University of North Carolina, and then went on to win Olympic and World Championships medals, and set American records which still stand today.(04/22/2019) ⚡AMP
Four-time TCS New York City Marathon champion garners public vote after recording second-fastest time in event history.
Mary Keitany was voted the 2018 New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year by the public after recording the second-fastest time in New York City Marathon history en route to her fourth title, and winning her third NYRR New York Mini 10K.
The NYRR Pro Performer of the Year award recognizes the top athlete for his or her outstanding achievements at NYRR races over the entire year.
“It’s a great honor to win the NYRR Pro Performer of the Year award,” Keitany said. “This one means a lot because it is the fans who choose. I was pleased to win the TCS New York City Marathon and the NYRR New York Mini 10K in 2018, and I look forward to continuing my success in NYC in the future.”
Keitany, 36, won her fourth TCS New York City Marathon title in November, easily out-pacing the field to finish in 2:22:49, just 17 seconds off the course record.
Her second-half split was faster than the U.S. half marathon record of 1:07:25, and she now has the second-most New York City Marathon victories in history in the women’s open division after Grete Waitz.
Earlier in the year, Keitany won her third NYRR New York Mini 10K in a time of 30:59, the fifth-fastest time in the event’s 47-year history.
"By winning her 4th TCS New York City Marathon and third NYRR New York Mini 10K this year, Mary Keitany put on a show for runners and viewers around the world with her amazing performances on the roads in 2018," said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners.
"Mary is like to New York Road Runners, and we are extremely grateful to have one of the greatest marathoners of all-time be such an inspiration to our running community here in New York."(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP