That's the question we ask in our women's preview:
In that preview, her is what we say about Hasay.
Hasay, who turned 26 on September 21, knocked it out of the park in her first career marathon in April. 2:23:00 - 3rd place at Boston. That's the 13th fastest debut in history. Enough said.
That's the good news. The bad news is Hasay now has to try to top that performance. Nothing else in Hasay's career converts to anything close to a 2:23 flat marathon. Yes, we know Boston was her first half-marathon but that doesn't mean a lot to us. As we mentioned after Berlin, there are plenty of people who run their PRs in their first marathon. Of the ten fastest debut marathoners in history on the men's side, only 3 of the 10 have run faster elsewhere.
We decided to look up the stats for the women. Of the 12 women who have debuted faster than Hasay, only four - yes just four of them - have ever run a marathon faster than their debut marathon.
The 13 Fastest Debut Marthoners in History (According to Ken Nakamura)
* = PR Came After Debut
1. Paula Radclife - GBR - 2:18:52* - Yes. She ran faster - 2:15:25.
2. Lucy Kabuu - Kenya - 2:19:34 - Hasn't run faster. 2:20:21 is next best.
3. Glady Cherono - Kenya - 2:20:03*- Ran 2:19:25 in her next marathon.
4. Tirunesh Dibaba - Ethiopia - 2:20:35*. Showed why she may be the GOAT for women's running by running 2:17:56 in her second marathon.
5. Amane Beriso - Ethiopia - 2:20:48 - She's only finished 3 marathons but her next bests is 2:22:15.
6. Shure Demise Ware - Ethiopia - 2:20:59 - World junior record holder is still young but she's now run 7 marathon with her next best time being 2:22:57.
7. Meselech Melkamu - Ethiopia - 2:21:01 - Hasn't run faster but has on two other occasions where she has run 2:21.
8. Yuka Ando - Japan - 2:21:36 - Her 2:21:36 debut was in March in Nagoya at age 23. Ran 2:31:31 at World Champs in marathon #2.
9. Naoko Sakamoto - Japan - 2:21:51 - Ran 9 other marathons in her career and never broke 2:25.
10. Ejegayehu Dibaba - 2:22:09 - Her debut was in 2011 but she never ran another marathon.
11. Gete Wami - Ethiopia - 2:22:19* - Ended up with a 2:21:34 pb.
12. Worknesh Degefa - Ethiopia - Debut was in January - still waiting to run marathon #2.
13. Jordan Hasay - Ethiopia - 2:23:00 - Second marathon is coming up on Sunday.
So history says Hasay faces a tough task in topping her Boston performance on Sunday - she may never do better in her entire career.
The fact that's it's very hard to top a an A+ type effort is a facet of our sport that many fail to recognize. Think of it this way, if you walk out on to a basketball court and sink a half-court shot the first time you pick up the ball, it's hard to top that. Same thing is true if you get a 98 on your first exam in a class
But that's what Hasay will try to do on Sunday. And her prep races certainly don't indicate a sub-2:23 is likely. Prior to Boston, Hasay ran 68:40 and 67:55 for the half-marathon with that 67:55 being the only thing in Hasay's career that anyone might think was indicative of a 2:23 flat marathon. Those times are far better than what Hasay has put up in her two prep races prior to Chicago. On September 4th in New Haven, she won the US 20k champs in 66:35 - that's just 70:14 half-marathon pace. Then in Philadelphia on September 17 - she ran just 70:42. Yes, the weather was warmer than ideal in both cases but those times are a lot slower than what she did before Chicago.
Now, we haven't talked to Hasay - we'll do that on Friday at the pre-race press conference - so maybe there is a reason why her prep races were slower. It's possible Hasay was purposely holding back and trying run a certain time (but we don't think so as she was slowing down as the race progressed in her last race), or was sick or was purposely entering the races really tired, but for now, we think Hasay features stiff odds of topping what she did in Boston.