New York City Marathon Men's and Women's Pro Race Preview

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The titleholder Sharon Lokedi is set to compete with Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir, the victor of this year’s Boston Marathon Hellen Obiri, and the past world record holder Brigid Kosgei in the women’s division of the TCS New York Marathon, which boasts the prestigious World Athletics Elite Platinum Label. In the men's category, Tamirat Tola will face off against three-time New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, and the renowned Ethiopian marathoner Shura Kitata.

Defending champion Sharon Lokedi will clash against Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, this year’s Boston Marathon winner Hellen Obiri, former world record holder Brigid Kosgei in the women’s marathon at the TCS New York Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label race.

Lokedi won the New York Marathon by seven seconds on her debut over the marathon distance in 2:23:23. The Kenyan runner made a breakthrough in 2018 when she won the 10000 metres at the 2018 NCAA Division Track and Field Championships for the University of Kansas, where she studied nursing and business. This year she withdrew from the Boston Marathon due to a foot injury. 

“Last year I came into the TCS New York Marathon with the goal of being in the thick of the race, and the result was better than I could have hoped for”, said Lokedi. 

Obiri won two consecutive world gold medals in the 5000 metres in London 2017 and Doha 2019 and the Olympic silver medal in the 5000 metres in Tokyo 2021. She finished sixth on her debut over the marathon distance in New York in 2:25:49 and claimed her first win over the 42 km distance in Boston in 2:21:38. Obiri is coached by former US distance runner Dathan Ritzenheim. 

“With a year of marathon experience now under my belt, a win in Boston, a move to the USA,  I am coming to New York this year with more confidence and in search of a title”, said Obiri. 

Jepchirchir won three world half marathon gold medals in Cardiff 2016, Gdynia 2020 and Riga 2023, the Olympic marathon title in Tokyo 2021. Just three months after her Olympic triumph the Kenyan athlete won the New York Marathon in 2:22:39 setting the third fastest time in the history of this race. She missed Margaret Okayo’s course record by just eight seconds. Jepchirchir held off Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh in Boston in 2022 in 2:21:01. She is the only woman ever to win the Olympic Games, New York and Boston. She finished third at the 2023 London Marathon in 2:18:36. She was forced to withdraw from the New York Marathon due to injury last year. In her build-up to New York she won the Great North Run Half Marathon from South Shields to Newcastle in 1:06:45 and the World Half Marathon in Riga in 1:07:25. 

“I was so disappointed that I could not defend my title in New York last year due to an injury, and winning again in Central Park has been my main motivation as I began my preparation for the marathon this autumn”, said Jepchirchir. 

Brigid Kosgei will run the New York Marathon for the first time in her career. Kosgei is aiming to win the sixth World Marathon Majors following her triumphs in Chicago in 2018 (2:18:35) and 2019 (2:14:04), in London 2019 (2:18:20) and 2020 (2:18:58) and Tokyo 2022 with a course record of 2:16:02. Kosgei has not finished a marathon in 20 months due to injury issues. She twisted her foot the week before the Olympic marathon in 2021, but she won the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo behind Jepchirchir. She withdrew from the 2022 London Marathon due to a knee injury and dropped out the 2023 London Marathon due to a harmstring issue. 

Brigid Kosgei: “I am very excited to make my debut at the New York Marathon this autumn and attempt to win my fourth different major. I am not worried about the course, as I have had success in hilly marathon before, but New York has always been head-to-head competition, and I know I must be in the best possible shape to compete with the other women in the race”. 

Letsenbet Gidey from Ethiopia will make her first appearance at the New York Marathon. Gidey ran the fastest ever debut in the Valencia Marathon 2022 with 2:16:49, won the world gold medal in the 10000 metres in Eugene 2022 and set the world records in the 10000m with 29:01.03 in Hengelo 2021 and in the half marathon with 1:02:52 in Valencia 2021. She won the world gold medal in the 10000 metres in Eugene 2022 and finished second at the World Championships in Budapest 2023 and third at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 over the same distance. She was a former record holder in the 5000 metres with 14:06.62. Last summer she ran two 5000 metres races in 14:07.94 in Paris and 14:08.79 in Berlin. 

Israel’s Lonah Salpeter returns to New York, where she placed second in 2:23:30 in 2022. Salpeter performed well in her previous appearances at World Marathon Major races winning in Tokyo in 2020 in 2:17:45, finishing third in Boston in 2023 in 2:17:57 and fifth in London in 2021 in 2:18:54.

Gotyton Gebrselase won the world title in Eugene in 2022 in 2:18:11 and the world silver medal in Budapest in 2023 in 2:24:34. The Ethiopian runner won the Berlin Marathon in 2021 in 2:20:09 and finished third twice in New York in 2:23:39 and in Tokyo in 2:18:18 in 2022. 

Edna Kiplagat from Kenya won two world titles in Daegu in 2011 and Moscow in 2013, four World Marathon Majors in Boston in 2017 and 2021, in London in 2014 and New York in 2010. 

Violah Cheptoo Lagat (younger sister of former 1500 and 5000 metres champion Bernard Lagat) will run in New York for the third time after finishing second in 2021 in 2:22:44 and fifth in 2022 in 2:25:34. She also finished sixth in Boston in 2022 in 2:23:47. 

Two-time Olympian and three-time New York Half Marathon champion Molly Huddle will run the New York Marathon for the third time in her career after finishing third in 2016 and fourth in 2018. She has not run a marathon race since the Olympic Trials in February 2020. She gave birth to her child in April last year. 

Molly Huddle: “I am really excited to return to the TCS New York Marathon, my first time back at the race since 2018 and my first marathon anywhere since becoming a mother. I think the nature of the New York course and way the race typically unfolds suits me really well this autumn. It will be cool to head back to where my marathon career all started, on the streets of New York”. 

Kellyn Taylor will also return to New  York, where she finished in the top 10 three times and achieved her best result when she placed sixth in 2021. 

Tamirat Tola takes on Geoffrey Kamworor and Shura Kitata

Tamirat Tola will take on Geoffrey Kamworor, who won the New York Marathon men’s race three times, and Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata. 

Tola won the 2021 Amsterdam Marathon in 2:03:39 and won the world gold medal in Eugene in 2022 in 2:05:36. The 32-year-old Ethiopian runner also won the Dubai Marathon 2017 in 2:04:11. More recently Tola ran 2:03:40 in Valencia last December and placed third at the London Marathon in 2:04:59, but he dropped out in the final 5 km at the World Championships in Budapest last August. He bounced back to win the Great North Run over the half marathon in 59:58 one month later. Tola has won three of his career sixteen marathon races. He placed fourth in his previous two appearances at the New York Marathon in 2018 in 2:08:30 and in 2019 in 2:09:20. 

Shura Kitata finished second twice in New York in 2018 in 2:06:01 (the third fastest ever time in the history of the New York Marathon) and in 2022 in 2:08:54. The Ethiopian runner won the London Marathon in 2020 in 2:05:41 breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s long winning streak and finished second in the British capital in 2018 in 2:04:49. Kitata has won three of his 18 career marathons, including Rome in 2:07:28 and Frankfurt in 2:05:50 in 2017. 

Three-time world half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, who is aiming to become the third athlete to win three New York Marathon titles. Kamworor won this World Marathon Majors race twice in 2017 in 2:10:53 and 2019 in 2:08:13 and has reached the podium in all four of his appearances. 

Albert Korir from Kenya won the New York Marathon in 2021 in 2:08:21 and finished second at this event in 2019 in 2:08:36 beating both Tola and Kitata and fourth in Boston in 2023 in 2:08:01. 

The global medallists are Maru Teferi and Abdi Nageeye, who moved from East Africa to Europe as children. 

Teferi, an Israeli runner of Ethiopian origin, won two silver medals at the European Championships in Munich 2022 and at the World Championships in Budapest 2023. The 31-year-old Israeli runner improved his PB to 2:06:43 in Fukuoka 2022. He moved from Ethiopia to Israel at the age of 14. 

Abdi Nageeye from the Netherlands won the Olympic silver in Tokyo 2021 and finished first in Rotterdam in 2:04:56 and third in New York 2022 in 2:10:31. He dropped out at the 25 km at the World Championships in Budapest. Nageeye moved from Somalia to the Netherlands when he was six years old. 

Canada’s Cam Levins won the NCAA title in the 5000 metres in 2012 beating future Olympic and world medallist Paul Chelimo. Levins finished fourth at the World Championships in Eugene in 2:07:09 and improved his PB to a North American record 2:05:36 in Tokyo last March. 

Edward Cheserek, five-time NCAA outdoor champion in the 5000 and 10000 metres between 2014 and 2016, will make his debut over the marathon distance. Cheserek won the Copenhagen Half Marathon in 59:11 beating 2:04 marathon runner Bernard Koech. 

Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer Mekonnen set the previous Ethiopian half marathon record with his PB of 58:33 in Valencia in 2018 and finished fourth at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships. Yimer finished fifth in the 10000 metres at the World Marathon Championships in London 2017 in 26:56.11. This year he ran the Antrim Half Marathon in 58:38 and finished fourth in the half marathon at the World Road Race Championships in Riga in 59:22. 

Iliass Aouani will run her second marathon race this year eight months after setting the Italian record with 2:07:16 in Barcelona. Aouani ran his first marathon race in Milan in 2:08:34 setting the fastest time by an Italian debutant over the 42 km distance. 

Morocco’s Zohair Talbi showed his good form this year finishing third at the New York Half Marathon and fifth at the Boston Marathon in 2023 in 2:08:35. 

The best US runners in the field are Futsum Zeinesselassie, US national champion in 2022 in Sacramento and 11th in Rotterdam in 2:09:40, and 40-year-old Elkaneh Kibet, who finished fourth at the New York Marathon in 2021, set his PB of 2:09:07 in Boston in 2022 and ran 2:10:43 in Prague. 

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