2011 Studs Geoffrey Mutai and Mary Keitany Added to 2011 ING NYC Marathond Field

By NYRR.org
September 29, 2011

New York, September 28, 2011 —2011 Boston Marathon champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel and 2011 Virgin London Marathon champion Mary Keitany are part of a powerful field of Kenyan standouts who will compete against Ethiopian Olympic and World Championships medalist Tsegay Kebede, 2011 Los Angeles Marathon champion Buzunesh Deba, Russian phenomenon Galina Bogomolova, and Swedish sensation Isabellah Andersson in the ING New York City Marathon 2011 on Sunday, November 6, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

Course record holders Kurt Fearnley of Australia and Edith Wolf-Hunkeler of Switzerland and 2010 winner Tatyana McFadden of the United States were announced for the wheelchair race.

Previously announced runners for the men’s race include 2010 champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi and fellow Americans Bobby Curtis and Ed Moran, 2011 Virgin London Marathon champion Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya and Olympians Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico and Jaouad Gharib of Morocco. Two-time New York City Marathon champion Martin Lel was forced to withdraw from the race due to injury.

In the women’s race, previously announced runners include defending champion and 2011 World Champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines, New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, Jo Pavey of Great Britain, Portugal’s championship long-distance duo of Jéssica Augusto and Ana Dulce Félix, and U.S. runners Lauren Fleshman and Molly Pritz making their marathon debuts.

Other top contenders in the wheelchair division include, on the men’s side, Masazumi Soejima of Japan, Switzerland’s Heinz Frei and Marcel Hug, Krige Schabort of the United States, Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa, and Josh Cassidy of Canada; and, on the women’s side, Wakako Tsuchida of Japan, Amanda McGrory and Christina Ripp Schwab of the United States, Shelly Woods of Great Britain, and Christie Dawes of Australia.

“We have a star-studded international field for the ING New York City Marathon 2011 that brings together an incredible lineup of champions from this year’s Boston, London, and LA marathons,” said Wittenberg. “What a treat to have Geoffrey Mutai, who ran the fastest time ever recorded for a marathon at Boston this year, in the race, along with Buzunesh Deba, this year’s LA winner, here again to compete in the city she lives and trains in.”

Mutai, 29, of Kenya, won the 2011 Boston Marathon in a time of 2:03:02 – the fastest time ever recorded for a certified marathon. Since then, he has been unbeatable on the roads, winning the B.A.A. 10-K in Boston on June 26, in 27:19, and the Giro Podistico Internazionale di Castelbuono 10-K in Sicily on July 26 in 29:05.

Kebede, 24, of Ethiopia, won the bronze medal in the marathons at both the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2009 World Championships. One of the world’s most decorated marathoners, he’s won Fukuoka twice (2008 and 2009), Paris in 2008 and London in 2010. He has a 2:05:18 personal best, and will be making his ING New York City Marathon debut.

Keitany, 29, of Kenya, won the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in a personal best time of 2:19:19, the fastest time in the world this year. She finished third at the ING New York City Marathon last year and is also the world record holder at the half marathon (1:05:50) and 25-K (1:19:53).

Kilel, 30, of Kenya, won the 2011 Boston Marathon by two seconds in a personal best time of 2:22:36 after a thrilling stretch duel with American Desiree Davila. Kilel has also recorded marathon victories in Frankfurt (2010), Ljubljana (2009), Taipei (2008), and Nairobi (2005).

Deba, 24, an Ethiopian who lives full-time in New York City, has recorded two marathon victories this year, setting personal best times with both efforts. Last March she won the Honda Los Angeles Marathon in 2:26:34, then won the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon last June in an even faster 2:23:31. She won four marathons in 2010, and finished 10th at the ING New York City Marathon.

Bogomolova, 33, is Russia’s second-fastest marathoner ever with a 2:20:47 personal best set in Chicago in 2006. She was the Russian marathon record holder for four years from 2006 through 2010.

Andersson, 30, of Sweden is a four-time winner of the Stockholm Marathon. She is the Swedish record holder with a 2:23:41 career best.

Fearnley, 30, of Australia, is one of the most colorful—and feared—wheelchair athletes in the world. He’s captured nine medals at the Paralympic Games, and won four consecutive ING New York City Marathon titles (2006-2009); his 1:29:22 course record from 2006 still stands. Fearnley has won Paralympic Marathon gold medals, World Championships marathon gold, and has marathon wins in 10 countries on five continents.

“Finishing up my marathon racing year in New York is an annual event for me, which has special meaning in 2011, because I am here as a married man for the first time, with my wife, Sheridan, and I have a special mission, which is to become the champion again, after my four-year winning streak was broken in 2010,” said Fearnley.

Wolf-Hunkeler, 39, of Switzerland, is a five-time ING New York City Marathon champion (2004-2005, 2007-2009) and set the course record twice, including her still-standing mark of 1:52:38 from 2007. Hunkeler did not race in 2010, as she gave birth to her first child, daughter Elin, on September 14, 2010. Wolf-Hunkeler also holds the Olympic wheelchair marathon record at 1:39:21.

“New York is the highlight of my season. It is also special and beautiful moment after the birth of my daughter Elin to again participate in a major marathon, which brought me so much success in the past,” said Wolf-Hunkeler.

McFadden, 22, of Clarksville, MD, a student at the University of Illinois, won last year’s ING New York City Marathon with the boldest of tactics: She powered up the course’s biggest hill—the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge—in the first mile and took a 30 meter lead that would only widen as the race went on. As packs of racers worked together behind her, McFadden pushed on alone for the entire distance. By the finish, her lead had grown to nearly six minutes. McFadden is a six-time Paralympic medalist, five-time American record-holder, and multi-gold medal winner at the most recent Paralympic World Championships in New Zealand. She was a 2011 nominee for the ESPY Award in the Female Athlete with a Disability category.

“I am thrilled to be returning to the ING New York City Marathon this year,” said McFadden. “It will be incredible to defend my title against this amazingly deep and talented field of athlete. I really look forward to the challenge and the excitement that comes with the marathon in New York City.”

Other top contenders in the wheelchair division:

  • Soejima, 41, of Japan, won the 2011 Boston Marathon in a time of 1:18:50. Soejima set the Japanese record for the wheelchair marathon at 1:21:23 with his second-place finish in the 2008 Padova (Italy) Marathon. In 2007, he became the first Japanese winner at Boston, breaking Van Dyk’s streak of six consecutive wins with a seven-minute margin of victory. Soejima was third in his 2007 debut in New York and second in 2008 and 2010 (by a mere two seconds), and he won the 2009 Honolulu Marathon.
  • Frei, 53, of Switzerland, holds world records from 10,000 meters (20:25.90) to 100 kilometers (3:38:50). He has won the Hamburg Marathon an astounding 12 times, has won 12 Paralympics gold medals and 12 World Championships gold medals. He placed second at this year’s Virgin London Marathon.
  • Hug, 25, of Switzerland, is one of the world’s top young wheelchair athletes. In 2009, he had four marathon victories and finished third at the ING New York City Marathon. In 2010, Hug finished second at the Virgin London Marathon and later that year won the prestigious Oita (Japan) Wheelchair Marathon. This will be his fourth ING New York City Marathon.
  • Schabort, 48, of Cedartown, GA, will compete in his eleventh ING New York City Marathon this November. One of the winningest athletes in history, Schabort has notched victories in Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, New York City (2002 and 2003), and Honolulu an astounding seven times. His runner-up finish to Kurt Fearnley in 2009 was the closest in race history, with both athletes being given the same finish time and Fearnley winning by mere inches. Schabort was on the South African Paralympic Team in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004, and he took the bronze medal in the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics Marathon and improved to the silver eight years later in Sydney. In 2011, he has won both the Utica Boilermaker 15K and the Peachtree 10K Road Race.
  • Van Dyk, 38, of South Africa, is a nine-time winner of the Boston Marathon (2001-2006, 2008-2010) – his victories are the most by an athlete in any category in the race’s history. In addition to his success in Boston, Van Dyk was the winner in New York City in 2005, and 2nd in 2002 and 2003.
  • Cassidy, 26, of Canada, is making his sixth appearance at the ING New York City Marathon. In the past three years, he has been victorious at the Canadian Marathon Championships (2009), Peachtree 10K Road Race (2010), and the Ottawa Marathon and Virgin London Marathon, both in 2010.
  • Tsuchida, 37, of Japan, notched her fifth consecutive Boston Marathon win in 2011. Her time of 1:34:06 broke the long-standing (1994) women’s world record for the marathon distance. She has also won in London (2010) and Oita (2009), and was 3rd in the ING New York City Marathon 2009, the last time she raced here.
  • Dawes, 31, of Australia, took third place at the ING New York City Marathon 2008 and fourth place in 2009. She returns after taking a year off from racing during which she gave birth to her son, Charlie.
  • McGrory, 25, of Champaign, IL, as a member of the top-ranked University of Illinois wheelchair team, won in New York City on her first try in 2006, and has been on the podium in each of her other visits here (2007: 3rd; 2008: 2nd; and 2010: 3rd). She has also placed 1st in the Virgin London Marathon (2009 and 2011), Bank of America Chicago Marathon (2010), and Grandma's Marathon and Paris Marathon in 2011.
  • Ripp Schwab, 31, of Westminster, CO, another former University of Illinois racer, returned after a hiatus from wheelchair racing to finish 2nd in the ING New York City Marathon 2010. Her last previous visit to New York was in 2006, when she finished 4th. She first raced here in 2003, finishing 2nd, after winning the Boston Marathon in that year. She was a member of the highly successful University of Illinois women's wheelchair basketball team, and competed in that sport for the USA Paralympic team in Athens (2004) and again in Beijing (2008).
  • Woods, 25, of Great Britain, has finished second in New York three times (2009, 2007 and 2006) and 3rd in her initial appearance here (2005). She was second, one second behind McGrory, in the 2011 Virgin London Marathon. She is a past winner of the Los Angeles and London Marathons, both in 2007. She currently holds the British records in the 400m, 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m, and marathon.



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