Shalane Flanagan, Meb Keflezighi, Jared Ward, Abdi Abdirahman And Kellyn Taylor Lead American Field For 2017 New York City Marathon

Joining Flanagan at the world’s largest marathon are Amanda McGrory, Abdi Abdirahman and Josh George in a group featuring four U.S. Olympians and seven Paralympians

American field to also feature previously announced NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors Meb Keflezighi, who will race his 26th and final career marathon, and Tatyana McFadden, who will go for a record sixth title in wheelchair division

NYRR Press Release
August 28, 2017

New York — Two-time wheelchair division champion Amanda McGrory and former open division runner-up Shalane Flanagan, along with last year’s third-place men’s finishers, Abdi Abdirahman and Josh George, will headline the American field racing the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5.

The four will join previously announced NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors Meb Keflezighi and Tatyana McFadden in the American professional athlete field, which includes four Olympians and eight Paralympians.

“We are excited to welcome an extremely accomplished American field for the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, as Meb races his 26th and final career marathon, while Amanda and Tatyana battle for another five-borough title. Shalane, meanwhile, who owns the best New York City Marathon finish by an American woman in the last 27 years, returns in search of another podium finish,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “This All-Star American lineup for 2017 will certainly raise the level of excitement around this year’s race, further elevating the support of professional distance running in our country and inspiring the millions of people around the world tuning in to watch these great athletes compete.”

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Flanagan, 36, of Portland, OR, is the second-fastest U.S. female marathoner of all-time behind Deena Kastor and a four-time Olympian, having won a bronze medal over 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympics that was recently upgraded to a silver. In 2010, she finished as the runner-up at the New York City Marathon, the best finish by an American woman in 27 years. Also a 16-time national champion across various distances, Flanaganwill race this year’s New York City Marathon as an NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador. Just last weekend, she took part the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K as a Race Buddy for NYRR’s Run for the Future program. The Run for the Future is a summer program that empowers young women entering their senior year of high school to learn about running while building self-esteem and confidence, developing leadership skills, and training to complete a 5K run.

“Seven years ago, I started my marathon career on the streets of New York City,” Flanagan said. “It was one of the most thrilling experiences in my career, so I’m beyond excited to be returning this fall to where it all began. New York has always had an abundance of top competition. and I look forward to testing myself against the best in the world once again.”

McGrory, 30, of Savoy, IL, won her New York City Marathon debut in 2006 and finished third at last year’s edition of the event. The seven-time Paralympic medalist won three medals at the Rio 2016 Games and three medals at this summer’s World Para Athletics Championships in London. She opened her 2017 with a photo-finish win at the Tokyo Marathon, breaking the tape in 1:43:27 in February, before finishing as the runner-up at the United Airlines NYC Half in March.

“There’s no other city in the world quite like New York, so it makes sense that there’s no other race quite like the TCS New York City Marathon,” said McGrory. “As my first big marathon win, NYC holds a special place in my heart. I look forward to coming back every year to test myself against not only against the toughest athletes in the world, but also on one of the most difficult and technical courses I’ve encountered in my career.”

Keflezighi, 42, of San Diego, CA, is a four-time Olympian who will be racing the New York City Marathon for the 11th time. It will be the 26th and final professional career marathon for the NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador. In 2009, Keflezighi became the first American in 27 years to win the New York City Marathon, and five years laterhe was victorious at the Boston Marathon. Last November, he joined four other members of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team as a Grand Marshal for the TCS New York City Marathon.

McFadden, 28, of Clarksville, Maryland, will race for a record-breaking sixth career title in the wheelchair division. The NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador is a 17-time Paralympic medalist, the first-ever winner of the Abbott World Marathon Majors wheelchair series, and won all four of her events as this summer’s World Para Athletics Championships. She has won five career New York City Marathons, including the last four consecutively. With another victory on the five-borough course, McFadden would surpass Edith Hunkeler and Kurt Fearnley for the most career wins – by a male or female – in the wheelchair division.

Additional Top Professional American Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

  • Abdi Abdirahman (Open Division): The 40-year-old from Tucson, AZ, was the top American finisher at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, finishing third in 2:11.23 to become the oldest male runner in event history to reach the podium. He is a four-time Olympian and was the runner-up at the 2007 NYC Half.
  • Shadrack Biwott (Open Division): The 32-year-old from Mammoth Lakes, CA, was fifth overall at last year’s TCS New York City Marathon and finished fourth at this year’s Boston Marathon.
  • Jared Ward (Open Division): The 28-year-old from Kaysville, UT, finished sixth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Marathon and then served as a Grand Marshal of the TCS New York City Marathon last November. In 2015, he won U.S. titles in the 20K, 25K and marathon.
  • Josh George (Wheelchair Division): The 33-year-old from Champaign, IL won the inaugural professional wheelchair race at the 2014 NYC Half and placed second the following year. The four-time Paralympian and five-time Paralympic medalist was the runner-up at the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon and was third at the 2016 edition of the event.
  • Neely Gracey (Open Division): The 27-year-old from Boulder, CO, was the 2016 NYRR Staten Island Half champion and finished eighth at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, just her second time racing 26.2 miles. Earlier in the year, she was the top American finisher in her marathon debut in Boston, where she placed ninth.
  • Kellyn Taylor (Open Division): The 31-year-old from Flagstaff, AZ, ran a 2:28:40 in her debut marathon in Houston in 2015 before finishing sixth in the marathon and fourth over 10,000 meters at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. Earlier this year, she was the second American finisher at the Virgin Money London Marathon, placing 13th overall.
  • Aliphine Tuliamuk (Open Division): The 28-year-old from Santa Fe, NM, will make her TCS New York City Marathon debut just five months after notching her second consecutive podium finish at the NYRR New York Mini 10K. The Kenyan-born athlete has won six U.S. titles since becoming a U.S. citizen in 2016, and while she finished second at the 2015 Pittsburgh Marathon and ninth at the 2016 Houston Marathon, this will be her first marathon as a U.S. citizen.
  • Susannah Scaroni (Wheelchair Division): The 26-year-old from Champaign, IL, took her first title at an NYRR event in March, taking the tape at the United Airlines NYC Half after finishing as the runner-up in 2014 and 2015. The two-time Paralympian was fourth at last year’s TCS New York City Marathon. 

Top Professional American Men – Open Division

Name Personal Best Marathon Twitter Handle
Meb Keflezighi 2:08:37 @runmeb
Abdi Abdirahman 2:08:56 @Abdi_Runs
Jared Ward 2:11:30 @jwardy21
Shadrack Biwott 2:12:01 @skiptoob
Christo Landry 2:14:30 @runchristo
Brendan Martin 2:15:30 @bmar89
Michael Wardian 2:17:49 @mikewardian

Top Professional American Men – Wheelchair Division

Name Personal Best Marathon Twitter Handle
Josh George 1:21:47 @jsgeorge
Aaron Pike 1:22:09 @Pikester86
Daniel Romanchuk 1:26:26
Brian Siemann 1:26:46 @bsiemann


Top Professional Women – Open Division

Name Personal Best Marathon Twitter Handle
Shalane Flanagan 2:21:14 @ShalaneFlanagan
Kellyn Taylor 2:28:40 @kjxcountry16
Stephanie Bruce 2:29:35 @Steph_Rothstein
Esther Atkins 2:33:15 @ErbyAtkins
Heather Lieberg 2:34:09 @lieberg_heather
Aliphine Tuliamuk 2:34:44 @aliphinetuliamu
Neely Gracey 2:34:55 @neelysgracey
Laurie Knowles 2:36:01 @lmsturgell
Allie Kieffer 2:55:30
Caroline Williams Debut @cwilly
Tara Welling Debut @Tara_Welling

Top Professional Women – Wheelchair Division

Name Personal Best Marathon Twitter Handle
Amanda McGrory 1:33:13 @alittlechipped
Susannah Scaroni 1:33:17 @KenyanScaroni
Tatyana McFadden 1:35:05 @TatyanaMcFadden

The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will offer a total guaranteed prize purse of $825,000 – with potential time bonuses – with the wheelchair division prize purse increasing by 25 percent this year to become the largest wheelchair prize purse of any marathon in the world. The first-place finishers in the wheelchair division will now receive $20,000, with the second place receiving $15,000, third place receiving $12,000, fourth place receiving $8,000, fifth place receiving $5,000 and sixth place receiving $2,500. The men’s and women’s open division winners will once again receive $100,000 each.

The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series made up of the world’s six largest and most renowned road races – the Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, Bank of America Chicago and TCS New York City Marathons. This year’s series will also include the IAAF World Championship Marathon. Points are allocated to the top five finishers in each race. The Abbott World Marathon Majors prize structure was expanded for this year to reward the top three men’s and women’s finishers in both the open and wheelchair series, with a total prize purse of $1,100,000. A new charity program was introduced, which will give a total donation of $280,000 in the name of the winners of each of the races that make up Series XI. Each race winner in the open and wheelchair divisions will be honored with an Abbott World Marathon Majors $10,000 donation.

The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will be televised live on Sunday, November 5, on WABC-TV, Channel 7 in the New York tristate area from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, and for the rest of the nation on ESPN2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.

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