2013 New York City Marathon Women’s Preview: Who Wins $600,000 In Epic Clash Between Edna Kiplagat And Priscah Jeptoo?

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by LetsRun.com
October 29, 2013

How do you say Mano-a-mano in Swahili?

We ask because the 2013 ING New York City Marathon women’s race has the classic makings of a one-on-one battle between Kenyan superstars Edna Kiplagat, the reigning two-time World champ who also won in New York in 2010, versus 2012 Olympic silver medallist and 2013 London champ Priscah Jeptoo.

At stake is much more than simply the glory associated with being the New York champion. The winner of the battle between the duo on Sunday will likely walk away with a minimum of $600,000 – $100,000 for first plus the $500,000 World Marathon Majors 2012-2013 series prize.

Currently, 2013 Chicago Champ Rita Jeptoo (no relation to Priscah) sits atop the WMM leaderboard, but Edna or Priscah will win the series with the following results:

  • Priscah Jeptoo wins $500,000 if she wins the 2013 New York City Marathon.
  • Edna Kiplagat wins $500,000 if she is first or second in New York and Priscah Jeptoo doesn’t win.

On paper, Edna and Priscah – with personal bests of 2:19:50 (London 2012) and 2:20:14 (London 2013) respectively – are the class of the 2013 women’s field and we expect one of them to emerge as the victor on Sunday. The next closest personal best in the field belongs to the reigning New York Champion, Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia, who ran 2:23:15 to win New York in 2011.

Edna and Priscah thus are 3:01 faster than the rest of the field, which translates to 6.90 seconds per mile and 21.4 seconds per 5k. Admittedly, anything can happen in a marathon, but if New York was a 5,000 and organizers lined up two 13:00-flat 5,000 runners and a a slew of 13:20 plus runners, no one would predict one of the 13:20 runners to win.

So Who Has The Edge Between Edna And Priscah?

Priscah Jeptoo Versus Edna Kiplagat




WC Daegu 2011-08-27

2:29:00 (2)

2:28:43 (1)

Virgin London 2012-04-22

2:20:14 (3)

2:19:50 (2)

OG London 2012-08-05

2:23:12 (2)

2:27:52 (20)

Virgin London 2013-04-21

2:20:15 (1)

2:21:32 (2)




Choosing between the two isn’t easy. Head-to-head, they have raced four times at the 26.2-mile distance and the results are two wins for each of them. However, Priscah has gotten the better of Edna the last two times they raced, including in April in London when Priscah won and Edna was second. That being said, Edna has the better personal best, is a proven commodity on the hilly New York course, given she won in New York the only time she raced it, and has three career major wins (New York 2010, WC 2011 and 2013) to Priscah’s one (London 2013).

Those facts show a strong case can be made for either woman.

If being forced to choose between the two, we think the smart pick on paper, though, is Priscah Jeptoo.


Well, she ran one prep race prior to New York and it simply was sensational. Do you remember the much-hyped half marathon clash between arguably the two greatest track distance runners in women’s history, Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar, in September at the Bupa Great North Run?

Well, the winner of that race wasn’t Dibaba or Defar.

Priscah Jeptoo wins

Ladies, good luck beating this.

It was Jeptoo and her performance was simply sensational. She approached Paula Radcliffe territory as she won in 65:45 – just five seconds off of Radcliffe’s course record. In the middle of a half marathon, she ran a 4:34 mile and ran a 30:03 10,000. If she comes up with that type of performance again on Sunday, there is simply no way she loses. No woman in history has ever run that well in a distance race and lost.

Another thing in Jeptoo’s favor is the fact that she’s 4.5 years younger than Kiplagat, 29 to 34. Additionally, this is Kiplagat’s third marathon of 2013 – something she’s never done before. Kiplagat won Worlds just 11 weeks ago. How has she bounced back from that?

We simply don’t know. Even if she’s bounced back and is in the form of her life, that may not be quite enough to match Priscah Jeptoo.

Who Else Is In The Field?

At the bottom of this article, we share with you the entire elite women’s field for the 2013 ING New York City Marathon. In terms of contenders for the win, however, there are five additional women in the field who have run under 2:24 in the last seven years (Jelena Prokopcuka ran 2:23:56 in 2006):

Firehiwot Dado – Ethiopia – 29 years old – 2:23:12 PR from 2011 NYC, which she won
Bezunesh Deba – Ethiopia – 26 years old – 2:23:15 PR from NY 2011, where she was 2nd (Other NY runs: 10th in 2010 in 2:29:55; 7th in 2009 in 2:35:54)
Valeria Straneo – Italy – 37 years old – 2:23:44 PR (Rotterdam 2012, NYC debut – 2013 WC silver)
Risa Shigetomo – Japan – 26 years old – 2:23:23 PR (Osaka 2012, which she won, NYC debut)
Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko – Ukraine – 30 years old – 2:23:58 PR (Osaka 2013, which she won, NYC debut)

If both Priscah and Edna are off their games, one of those women will likely be your winner, but we don’t think it’s a very likely scenario.

Now, above in talking about how Edna and Priscah had three minutes on the field, we did conveniently ignore the fact that Dado’s and Deba’s 2:23 PRs did both come in New York in 2011 and a 2:23 in New York might be worth a 2:21 in London.

However, we don’t like Dado’s or Deba’s chances for victory as Dado ran a half marathon in early October in in just 72:03 in Lisbon and Deba’s two road 10ks this year were both over 32 minutes. Remember, Priscah split 30:04 in the middle of her 65:45 13.1 race in September.

What About The Americans*?

In talking about the leading Americans, we are going to talk about two women who aren’t technically American by running standards.

If anyone besides the seven women mentioned above wins, we think the winner would be New Zealand’s Kim Smith. Smith, however, has deep American roots as the 31-year-old has lived in Providence since coming to run for Ray Treacy in 2002 and she’s married to an American. If there was such a thing as a “common-law” American, Kim would qualify.

Kim had a nice 69:14 half marathon on October 14th, which netted her $100,000, so she’s clearly fit. However, the problem with her is she’s so far in her career a great half marathoner. She’s finished five marathons, none faster than the 2:25:21 national record she ran in her first one.

Former Columbia University runner Lisa Stublic is also in the field. Unlike Smith, Stublic is an American citizen as she was born and raised in the US (went to HS in Connecticut), but here’s the catch. She runs for Croatia. So she’s an American, but not when she races. Earlier this year, she chopped more than five minutes off her personal best to set a new Croatian national record of 2:25:44 in April.

However, she doesn’t seem to be in that type of form right now as she ran 73:00 in the race that Priscah Jeptoo ran 65:45 in September and then improved on that to a 71:43 on October 13th – far off the 69:18 national record she ran at the NYC Half in March.

In terms of people representing the US in the race, here are the five leading Americans in our estimation:

Amy Hastings – 29 years old – 2:27:03 PR – 4th at 2012 Olympic Trials, 2012 US Olympian at 10,000, has run a 15:09 5,000 PR this year, was 14th at World Champs in August for US in 10,000.
Janet Bawcom – 35 years old – 2:29:45 PR – 5th at 2012 Olympic Trials, 2012 US Olympian at 10,000.
Adriana Nelson – 33 years old – 2:28:52 PR – 2013 US Half-Marathon champ.
Alisha Williams – 31 years old – 2:34:58 PR – Has really improved of late, 5th in 10,000 at 2012 US Trials. 15:09 5,000 this summer.
Mattie Suver – 26 years old – 2:50:23 in only marathon at 2012 Olympic Trials, but enjoying great 2013 – 26th at 2013 World XC, 32:29 10,000 PR and 2nd at US 20k champs.

The field also includes Delilah DiCrescenzo of “Hey There” fame, who is making her marathon debut. The full 2013 elite field is listed below.

Come back later in the week, and we’ll make our predictions after talking to the runners on Wed., Thursday and Friday at the press conferences.

More: LRC 2013 New York City Marathon Men’s Preview: Can Course Record Holder Geoffrey Mutai Hold Off Olympic Champ Stephen Kiprotich And London Champ Tsegaye Kebede?

LRC Vault from 2011: Gilbert Koech and Edna Kiplagat and family at home in Kenya in 2011

2013 ING NYC Marathon Elite Women’s Field
BibLastFirstNationAffiliationAgePRPR VenueComment
101DadoFirehiwotETHNike292:23:15New York, 2011Defending NYCM champion; 3-time Rome Marathon champion (2009/10/11)
102KiplagatEdnaKENNike342:19:50London, 20122011/2013 World Champ; 2010 LA and NYC Marathon champion
103JeptooPriscahKENNike292:20:14London, 20122011 WCA silver; 2012 OG silver; 2013 LON champ
104DebaBuzuneshETHNike262:23:19New York, 20112nd 2011 NYCM; 2011 RNR San Diego Champion
105StraneoValeriaITARunner Team 99/Nike372:23:44Rotterdam, 20122013 WCA silver medalist; ITA record holder for marathon
106DaunayChristelleFRANike382:24:22Paris, 2010French marathon record-holder
107ProkopcukaJelenaLATNike372:22:56Osaka, 2005Two-time NYCM champion
108ShigetomoRisaJPNTenmaya262:23:23Osaka, 20122012 Osaka Marathon champion; 2012 Olympian
109Gamera-ShmyrkoTetyanaUKRNike302:23:58Osaka, 20132013 Osaka Marathon winner/5th OG Marathon
110SmithKimNZLNew Balance312:25:21London, 2010NZL marathon record holder; 3-time Olympian
111FélixAna DulcePORadidas312:25:40New York, 20112012 Euro 10,000m champion
112MockenhauptSabrinaGERPuma322:26:21Berlin, 2010Three-time Olympian; over 30 national titles
114StublicLisaCRONYAC292:25:44Zurich, 2013Born and raised in Waterbury, CT
115CaballeroYolandaCOLadidas312:26:17Boston, 20112012 Olympian; SA HM rec (1:10:30)
116HastingsAmyUSABrooks292:27:03Los Angeles, 20112012 USA OT 10,000m champion (4th OT Marathon)
117Nukuri-JohnsonDianeBDIAsics282:29:54Boston, 20132013 Bay to Breakers champ; 2-time Olympian
118BawcomJanetUSANike352:29:45Olympic Trials, 20122012 Olympian; Became USA citizen in 2010
119NelsonAdrianaUSAAsics332:28:52London, 20082013 USA HM champ; 2012 USA WHM team
120WilliamsAlishaUSABoulder RC/adidas312:34:58Cal Int’l, 20125th 2012 USA OT 10,000m
122AliyuAzizaETHWest Side Runners282:36:55Duluth, 2011NY based Ethiopian
124DiCrescenzoDelilahUSAPuma/NYAC301:15:05East Hampton, 20132012 Midnight Run Champion
125PinnaClaudiaITAC.U.S. Cagliari/Mizuno352:37:12Frankfurt, 20122013 ITA Half-Marathon champion
126SuverMattieUSABoulder RC/adidas262:50:23Olympic Trials, 2012Has a bar named after her: Mattie’s Bar & Grill in Elko, NV
127DiCamilloKatieUSANew Balance Boston262:38:50Philadelphia, 20133rd 2012 Philly Marathon; 21st 2012 Oly Trials 10,000m
128HerrickDanna KellyUSASaucony Team Hurricane272:43:57Grandma’s, 201182nd 2012 OT 2:45:42
129MallonJuliaUSANYAC352:44:07Olympic Trials, 2012Former prep star “Julia Stamps”
130PorathNicholeUSARun N Fun302:44:12Olympic Trials, 2012Holds unoff world indoor marathon record of 2:57:34
132CadicamoAlexandraUSANYAC251:17:42Brooklyn Half, 2013Making marathon debut
133GuangulHirut BeyeneETHWest Side Runners212:34:03Twin Cities, 2012NY based Ethiopian
134TufaTigistETHWest Side Runners262:40:45Jacksonville, 2013NY based Ethiopian
135GurmuMuliyeETHWest Side Runners292:39:55Dubai, 2007Won 2008 Memphis Marathon
144BentleyLisaCANSaucony/Oakley442:49:26Boston, 201311-time Ironman champion
145PerecMarie-JoséFRAPeace & Sport45NoneNARunning for Peace & Sport charity
148FiacconiFrancaITAUnattached482:25:17New York, 19981998 ING NYCM champion
155DiPietroLeeUSAUnattached552:47:00Boston, 200030th in 2000
156SamuelsonJoanUSANike562:21:21Chicago, 19851984 Olympic Marathon gold medalist
170BaymillerRaeUSACentral Park TC702:52:14Chicago, 1998Trying to break 70+ WR of 3:41:12