Mary Keitany (2:18:37 pb) may be a Paula Radcliffe type talent, but she'll have her hands full in NYC in her first marathon in two years. She'll be challenged by former double World Champ Edna Kiplagat, and NYC champs Jelena Prokopcuka and Firehiwot Dado, plus 2013 runner-up Buzunesh Deba. Desiree Linden leads the American field, which also includes 41-year-old Deena Kastor (shooting for 2:25) and Kara Goucher, in her first marathon since April 2013.
The last book she read? Christopher McDougall's "Born to Run".
Tirunesh Dibaba faces Italy’s World marathon silver medallist Valeria Stranio and France's European XC champ Sophie Duarte and UK's Gemma Steel in the women's race.
Dibaba will face Italy’s World marathon silver medalist Valeria Straneo, France’s Sophie Duarte and GB's Gemma Steel. Priscah Jeptoo has pulled out with a stress fracture. Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele will go head-to-head in the men's race.
4 years ago, Kiprop stunned the now 5-time champ Tadese. Will he do it again? Both say they'd also like to continue to try to solve the marathon. Plus talk from Valeria Straneo.
Ertrea's World XC bronze medalist Teklemariam Medhin was 4th (1:01:17), Kenya’s 2013 World Championships 10,000 bronze medallist Paul Tanui was 7th and Imane Merga was 12th. For the women, Ethiopia's Werknesh Degefa beat Kenya’s Jemima Jelagat by 2-seconds with 1:08:46; Italy’s 2013 World Championships marathon silver medallist Valeria Straneo was 6th (1:09:47).
According to the IAAF, the key to her breakthrough was she had her spleen removed as she suffered from "a rare hereditary disease called spherocytosis, an anaemic condition which can damage red blood cells."
The 37-year old World silver medalist is the mother of 2 and says, “Today, I still can’t believe that it’s true that I’m a top runner with a major championships medal around my neck. Many things have changed over the past two years but it still makes me smile when my children ask me, ‘Mom, are you famous?’”
She says she’s actually got a ton of publicity in Italy since winning the silver in Moscow and has actually had to start turning things down because it would interfere with her training. She says if she finished top 3 at NYC, “Oh my gosh, it would be on par with finishing on the podium at the Olympics or the World Championships. The start list is as strong as a big championship. New York is about the marathon, with a big M. It has been my dream to be here. I am just proud to be running.”
“Since I got back from Russia, people recognize me everywhere I go,” Straneo said. “When I walk around my town, people give me the thumbs-up signal. It is very nice.”