Make That Six As We Are Discounting The Chances of Last Year’s Runner-Up
October 30, 2012
The women’s world record in the marathon is 2:15:25. This year six women have broken 2:20:00, ten have broken 2:21 and nearly thirty have broken 2:24:00 (29). Why do we start our women’s preview of the 2012 ING New York City Marathon with those stats?
Because we want to have justification for telling you that in reality we think there are only five women that could win Sunday’s race. Race organizers have listed 42 elite professional women (full list is at the bottom of this article) but just as we did in our men’s preview, we wanted to narrow that down to five names for you to focus on.
Thus, we looked at the field and realized that there are only five women in the field who have run sub 2:24 in the last five years. If you haven’t done that, we don’t see you winning on Sunday.
We break down the field by starting with “The Favorite,” before going to “Two Very Worth Challengers,” before ending with “Two That Are Much Less Likely To Win” which actually includes a sixth bonus pick – the American based Kim Smith.
1. Tiki Gelana
25 years old – 2:18:58 pb Rotterdam 2012 – ETH- Nike – 2012 Olympic champ
There is little to not like about Gelana. In the spring, she ran 2:18:58 at Rotterdam, becoming the fourth women in history to go sub 2:19 (there are now five as Mary Keitany also did it a week later in London). She followed that win up with a win at the Olympics despite a mid-race fall.
So she’s the Olympic champ and the one with the best PB in the field and she’s only 25. What could possibly be the knock on her? Nothing except for the fact that it’s her third marathon of the year. But she ran three marathons back in 2010 when she was a 2:28 runner. She has seemingly recovered well from the Olympics, as just six weeks after the Olympics she ran a 67:48 half marathon at the Bupa Great North Run.
At the press conference, we’ll certainly be asking some questions to see how her training/recovery has gone since then, but on paper, she is the woman to beat.
Two Very Worth Challengers
2. Edna Kiplagat
33 years old – 2:19:50 pb London 2012 – KEN – Nike – 2010 New York and 2011 World Champ
Last year, due to injury, Edna Kiplagat was unable to defend her New York crown from 2010. She’s back in 2011 and can not be discounted.
After winning Worlds last year after a fall mid-race (maybe falling is a good thing?) and then missing New York, she ran a 2:19:50 pb at the Virgin London Marathon in April. At face value, her Olympic result (20th – 2:27:52) makes it look like it was the first sub-par legitimate marathon of her career.
But Kiplagat didn’t play it safe at the Olympics. She’s the one that whittled down the lead pack to six by forcing the pace some 1:24 into the race, before paying the price at the end. Like Gelana, she too has recovered nicely from the Olympics as she ran a nice 67:41 half-marathon at the Bupa Great North Run, in a race where she beat Gelana by one spot and hung with the great Tirunesh Dibaba until the final 400.
At a minimum, a top three result is something to expect from Kiplagat as except for the Olympics she’s finished 1st, 1st, 3rd, 1st and 2nd in the five marathon she has finished since becoming a marathoner in 2010.
3. Sharon Cherop
28 years old – 2:22:39 pb Dubai 2012 – KEN – Nike – 2012 Boston champ, 2011 Worlds bronze
The reigning Boston champ has never run faster than 2:22 but she can’t be discounted. After PRing in Dubai to start the year, she beat both the heat and the entire field in a tactical Boston marathon (winning time 2:31:50).
And like the top two contenders in New York, she too has shown good recent fitness as she won the half in Philly on September 16th in 67:21. That’s the same day that Kiplagat ran 67:41 and Gelana ran 67:48 in the UK.
Two That Are Much Less Likely To Win
4. Tatyana Arkhipova
29 years old – 2:23:29 pb Olympics 2012 – RUS – Nike – 2012 Olympic bronze medallist
The former steeplechaser (silver medallist in 2007, 4th at the 2008 Olympics) has successfully moved up to the marathon and her last marathon was her best. In seven career marathons she had never broken 2:25, but at the Olympics, she ran 2:23:29 to get the final medal.
But honestly, she’ll need another career best performance in our mind if she is going to win on Sunday. Prior to the Olympics, she had been fifth in Tokyo and fifth in Berlin in her two previous marathons. Finishes like that are a far cry from winning in New York.
5. Bizunesh Deba
25 years old – 2:23:19 pb New York 2011 – ETH – Nike – 2011 New York runner-up
Last year,the Bronx living Deba almost pulled a huge stunner when she ended up as the runner-up at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon. Deba finished just four seconds behind champ Firehiwot Dado. With Dado out with a nasty, infected blister, Dado is the top returner from last year (it’ worth noting that neither the men nor women’s champ is back from last year – when is the last time that happened?).
But we don’t think Beba really has any chance of winning on Sunday based on her recent form which has been non-existent. On paper, yes, she has a chance but unless we learn something big at the press -conferences, we are writing her off.
Why do we say that? Well Beba has done nothing this year. Last year, she was on fire winning marathons in LA and San Diego before getting second in New York. Along the way, she also won the Healthy Kidney 10k, raced Peachtree and Beach to Beacon and was racing a lot.
This year, she’s only got one result all year that we are aware of. A 74:55 half marathon in Philly on September 16th – which is miles from the 69:53 she ran in Philly last year before New York.
6. Kim Smith
30 years old – 2:25:21 pb London 2010 in her debut- NZL – RBK -
Since we are discounting Deba, we thought we’d throw in a sixth name as a potential winner as we need five potential winners and we wanted to get an American up on the board. Yes, we know Kim isn’t American but she’s been over her for 10 + years, went to Providence, lives and trains in Providence and after the Olympics got married (not too late to get a gift) to an American. So she’s close to being one.
Kim has never really had that big breakthrough in the marathon that she has dreamed of, but she has some good distance credentials. Three times, she’s gone under 68 at the half-marathon distance. She’s run 14:59 and 30:35 on the track and she’s never been afraid to go for it, as she was out front in Boston last year.
If she wins, it will be a big upset but weirder things have happened in New York. It should be remembered that South Africa’s Hendrick Ramaala never had a breakthrough in his first ten career marathons (only twice breaking 2:10) but won New York on try #11 in 2004 and now has a 2:06:55 pb.
The question we will try to find out this week at the press conferences is, ‘How fit is Kim currently and has New York really been her focus?’ After finishing 15th at the Olympics in August, she got married on Sept. 1 in Maine and then had to focus on the BAA Half-Marathon which she won on October 7th in 70:57 and picked up a cool $100,000 in the process as part of a BAA marketing gimmick.
The full 2012 ING New York City Marathon elite women’s field appears below.
Check back later in the week when we will talk about “The Americans” and cover the press conferences on-site in New York. At the end of the week, after the press conferences, we’ll give you our predictions.
2012 Elite ING New York City Marathon Women’s Field
|102||Deba||Buzunesh||Bronx||NY||ETH||25||Nike||2:23:19||New York, 2011|
|103||Gelana||Tiki||Addis Ababa||ETH||25||Nike||2:18:58||Rotterdam, 2012|
|104||Félix||Ana Dulce||Braga||POR||30||adidas||2:25:40||New York, 2011|
|108||Arkhipova||Tatyana||Cheboksary||RUS||29||Nike||2:23:29||Olympic Games, 2012|
|110||Straneo||Valeria||Alessandria||ITA||36||Runner Team 99/Nike||2:23:44||Rotterdam, 2012|
|117||Hastings||Amy||Leavenworth||KS||USA||28||Brooks||2:27:03||Los Angeles, 2011|
|118||Okubo||Eri||Tokyo, Japan||JPN||29||Second Wind aC||2:26:08||Tokyo, 2012|
|119||Burla||Serena||Falls Church||VA||USA||30||Riadha/Mizuno||2:28:27||Seoul, 2012|
|120||Nelson||Adriana||Fort Collins||CO||USA||32||Asics||2:28:52||London, 2008|
|121||Demissie||Misiker Mekonnin||Albuquerque||NM||ETH||26||adidas/West Side Runners||2:25:21||San Diego, 2011|
|122||Da Silva||Adriana Aparecida||Sao Paulo||BRA||31||EC Pinheiros/Asics||2:29:17||Tokyo, 2012|
|123||Culley||Julie||Annandale||NJ||USA||31||Asics/NYAC||15:05.38||Olympic Games, 2012|
|124||Bawcom||Janet||Flagstaff||AZ||USA||34||Nike||2:29:45||Olympic Trials, 2012|
|125||Pritz||Molly||Boulder||CO||USA||24||Asics||2:31:52||New York, 2011|
|126||Partridge||Susan||Halifax – West Yorkshire||GBR||32||Leeds City AC/VP City of Glasgow||2:34:14||London, 2011|
|127||Williams||Alisha||Colorado Springs||CO||USA||30||Boulder RC/adidas||2:35:09||Oly Trials, 2012|
|128||Thomas||Wendy||Windsor||CO||USA||33||Boulder RC/adidas||2:34:25||Olympic Trials, 2012|
|130||Frey||Michelle||Minneapolis||MN||USA||30||Saucony||2:35:51||Twin Cities, 2006|
|131||Aliyu||Aziza||Bronx||NY||ETH||27||West Side Runners||2:36:55||Duluth, 2011|
|132||Thorvilson||Leah||Little Rock||AR||USA||33||Marathonguide.com/Go! Running Road Crew||2:37:26||Little Rock, 2012|
|134||Dikos||Jackie||Indianapolis||IN||USA||33||Athletic Annex||2:45:26||Indianapolis, 2010|
|136||Molloy||Kirsten||Mount Hutton||NSW||AUS||33||Macquarie Hunter Athletics Club||2:43:41||Melbourne, 2011|
|137||Gacek||Melissa||White Bear Lake||MN||USA||36||Run N Fun||2:44:10||Olympic Trials, 2008|
|138||Porath||Nichole||Northfield||MN||USA||29||Run N Fun||2:44:12||Olympic Trials, 2012|
|139||Karlsson||Charlotte||Stockholm, Sweden||SWE||30||Hammarby IF||2:48:37||Stockholm, 2012|
|160||Gurmu||Muliye||Bronx||NY||ETH||28||West Side Runners||2:39:55||Dubai, 2007|
|162||DiCamillo||Katie||Providence||RI||USA||25||New Balance Boston||32:31.97||Palo Alto, 2012|
|163||Cummings||Sarah||New York||NY||USA||23||NYAC||1:16:06||Philadelphia, 2011|
|164||Higgins||Lesley||New York||NY||USA||32||NYAC||1:18:06||NYC Half, 2012|
|165||Hullinger||Heidi||New York||NY||USA||30||NYAC||1:18:10||NYC Half, 2011|
|166||Composti||Jeanna||New York||NY||USA||31||NYAC||1:20:19||Philadelphia, 2012|
|167||Lauretani||Maria||New York||NY||USA||38||NYAC||1:21:18||Philadelphia, 2012|
|168||Bekele||Mekides||Jackson Heights||NY||ETH||26||West Side Runners||2:47:50||Richmond, 2011|
|169||Neal||Adrian Chouinard||Colorado Springs||CO||USA||29||Boulder RC/adidas||2:44:06||Olympic Trials, 2012|