It's the largest women's only marathon in the world with 19,112 finishers last year. Pretty amazing.
Misikir Demissie (a 2:25 marathoner is a new US citizen) ran 1:13 here, but her coach says of the Trials, "she can run 2:25."
Molly Huddle is the favorite on the women's side as she faces Janet Bawcom, Kara Goucher. Deep races on both sides.
Sam Chelanga and Dathan Ritzenhein were 2-3. Janet Bawcom and Brianne Nelson were 2-3 for the women.
Men's field has Ryan Hall, Shadrack Biwott, Matt Llano, 61:30 half-marathoner Scotty Bauhs (debut) and ultra-marathoners Sage Canaday and Max King. Women's side led by Janet Bawcom, Brianne Nelson and Sara Hall in her debut.
Bawcom, who had a tough fall as her father-in-law lost his battle with cancer, talks a lot about the differences between training in the US and Kenya. "Overall, I would say that people here are much more relaxed about their training – no one really seems to have it mapped out to the microsecond like you see in the US."
Meb Keflezighi goes for the three-peat against a field that includes Josphat Boit, Shadrack Biwott, Diego Estrada and Girma Mecheso. In the women's race, marathon specialists Annie Bersagel and Lauren Kleppin will attempt to hold off U.S. 10,000 champ Kim Conley. Sara Hall and 2012 Olympian Janet Bawcom are also in the field. Races start at 6:55 a.m. CT on Sunday.
The 2:05:25-man will face Debeb Tolossa and Aaron Braun. The women's race is led by 2:25:39 runner Fatuma Sado who faces Biruktait Degefa (2:26:22) and Serena Burla. The half will once again be the US Half-Marathon Championships and features Meb Keflezighi, Josphat Boit, Matt Llano, Janet Bawcom, Sara Hall, Kim Conley and Becky Wade.
She says the big difference in Kenya vs the US: "Hills and Fartleks." A staple in Kenya is "The Hour" fartlek, which can be broken down in many ways, such as 30 x 1-minute hard, 1-minute easy. Bawcom desbribes one such workout where by the end they were 4:30 pace on the hard and sub-6:00 pace on the "easy".