Anything Can And Will Happen At The New York City Marathon

null

A diverse cast of characters takes on the New York City Marathon this Sunday, including reigning champions Shalane Flanagan and Geoffrey Kamworor, whose repeat victories are far from guaranteed.

Women’s Race: Mary Keitany, Vivian Cheruiyot Will Make A Repeat American Victory Difficult

American distance running fans have been extremely lucky over the past calendar year to witness Shalane Flanagan and Des Linden win Abbott World Marathon Majors in New York and Boston. But we should keep in mind there’s a reason it took 40 and 33 years for an American woman to break those win droughts. 

Two of the fastest women in world history, Mary Keitany and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, headline the field in New York despite the presence of Flanagan and Linden.

Keitany, 36, set the women’s-only world record of 2:17:01 just last year in London. In her career, she’s won six Abbott World Marathon Majors, made the podium in an additional four majors and placed fourth at the Olympic Games. Her past two marathon races, however, have not lived up to her gold standard. Last year in New York, she faltered to Flanagan and placed second. In London this spring, she took fifth while countrywoman Cheruiyot, 35, won her first major.

Cheruiyot has experienced the biggest successes of her career on the track—she won Olympic gold in the 5K in 2016 and is a four-time world champion in the 5K and 10K. Her total career medal haul includes 11 medals in the Olympics and Championships since 2007. 

Her 2:18:31 win in London, then, signaled a successful transition to the next phase of her career on the roads in the marathon. It’s certainly difficult to imagine anyone besides Cheruiyot crossing the finish line first.

If Keitany isn’t on her ‘A’ game, it’s conceivable for multiple Americans to make the podium. It’s hard to guess what kind of shape defending champion Flanagan is in. The 37-year-old hasn’t raced since a disappointing sixth-place finish in Boston. Linden, 35, captured the win in a September test run at the Philly Half Marathon in 71:48.

It might be time for Molly Huddle’s turn at center stage. The 34-year-old is newer to the marathon than Flanagan and Linden; a 13th place run in Boston this year was underwhelming, but her third-place finish at the 2016 NYC Marathon in her debut showed plenty of potential in the distance. She broke the American record for half marathon in Houston earlier this year and is likely itching to show the world what kind of shape she’s really in after the terrible conditions in Boston left her hypothermic at the finish.

The other Americans to watch include Stephanie Bruce, who won her first national road race title this summer and is enjoying her best year of running ever in 2018; and Allie Kieffer, who rose from obscurity to place fifth in New York last fall. There’s also Sydney DeVore, the new Hansons-Brooks Distance Project runner who clocked 2:32 in her debut marathon this spring; and masters runners Roberta Groner, 40, and Carrie Dimoff, 35, who are looking to crack 2:30 for the first time.

Sarah Sellers, the Boston Marathon runner-up, is hoping to nab the Olympic Trials ‘A’ qualifying time of 2:37:00.

International Men: Shura Kitata To Challenge Reigning Champion Geoffrey Kamworor

Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor returns to New York City to defend his title after a brilliant breakout performance to win his first Abbott World Marathon Major last fall. The 25-year-old had previously made the podium three times at majors and his personal best of 2:06:12 dates back to his 2012 debut in Berlin. But dropping former world record holder Wilson Kipsang for victory in victory marked his arrival as a top 26.2-mile contender.

Since then, Kamworor has not lost a race. He won his third consecutive IAAF World Half Marathon Championships title in March with astonishing splits—like a 13:01 5K between 15K and 20K.

He also has the best training partner in the world in Eliud Kipchoge, the newly minted world record holder thanks to his 2:01:39 win at the Berlin Marathon.

However, Kamworor is not the fastest man in the field and his 2:10 victory last year was cemented only over the final few miles after a tactical overall race. He has four men with sub-2:06 credentials to contend with in New York, including Tamirat Tola, the 2017 IAAF World Championships marathon runner-up who has run low 2:04 at the Dubai Marathon each of the past two years; Lelisa Desisa, who has made the podium in New York three times since 2014 including a third-place finish last year; Tola Shura Kitata, just 22 and runner-up at the London Marathon this spring in 2:04:49; and Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon champion.

Of these men, Kitata seems the most dangerous. In London, he was runner-up only to Kipchoge and handily defeated this fall’s Chicago Marathon champion in Mo Farah by almost two minutes. At just 22, he’s already run nine marathons—meaning he has both youth and experience on his side. He also trains with Ethiopian running legend Kenenisa Bekele, who was just sixth in London but at his peak has raced 2:03:03.

American Men: Abdi Abdirahman, Shadrack Biwott Lead The Field; Bernard Lagat To Debut

The fastest American man in the New York City field is 41-year-old Abdi Abdirahman, who, despite his advanced age, has shown no signs of slowing down. His personal best of 2:08 may date back to 2006, but he has finished as the top American in New York for the past two consecutive years with a third-place podium finish in 2016 and a seventh-place run last year. He was also sixth in Boston in 2017.

Shadrack Biwott, 33, placed fourth and third at the Boston Marathon the past two years and seems the most likely man—if any—to displace Abdirahman at the top of the U.S. ranks.

A slew of men who have run between 2:10 and 2:12 in the marathon will also contend for top American honors, including Jared Ward, who placed sixth at the Olympics in 2016 but dropped out of a half marathon in September due to hamstring problems; Tim Ritchie, the 2017 CIM champion and second-fastest American marathoner of 2017; HOKA NAZ Elite training partners Scott Smith and Scott Fauble, who finished just seconds apart in 2:12 PRs at the Frankfurt Marathon last year; Chris Derrick, who is racing his second career marathon after a 2:12 debut in Chicago in 2017; and Ryan Vail, who set his personal best of 2:10 in 2014.

Perhaps the most interesting American men’s storyline in New York is that of track great Bernard Lagat, who at 43 years old is making his marathon debut with Meb Keflezighi’s masters record of 2:12:21 in mind.

How Running Saved Hannah Reinhardt's Life

Hannah Reinhardt, a senior at the University at Albany, won the Northeast Regional on the roads this past weekend, earning an individual qualification for the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 23. This story, written by Reinhardt on behalf of America East's #BetterTo9ether initiative, details her journey through adversity and how running helped save her life.

Arkansas Goes For Calendar Sweep, Monson/Kelati Battle

In his 30 years at Arkansas, women’s head coach Lance Harter has won four national championships in track. He’s won 15 SEC Cross Country Championships. The program has finished in the top 10 at NCAAs on 10 occasions. But the team has never won an NCAA cross country title, and it’s been two decades since they finished in the top four. 

2019 DII XC Championships Preview: Mines, Adams State Look To Stay On Top

DII/DIII FloXC Show: NCAA Podium Picks

The 2019 DII NCAA XC Championships are this Saturday, Nov. 23, in Sacramento, California. FloTrack will have Live coverage of the event beginning at 10:00 am PT with the start of the women’s 6k.

House Of Run: An NCAA XC Primer

Kevin and Jason preview Saturday’s NCAA Cross Country Championships, LIVE on FloTrack, and discuss if the NAU men’s team can win their fourth straight title, who will emerge from a three-way battle for the women’s championship and the next chapter in the Alicia Monson/Weini Kelati rivalry.

How To Watch The 2019 DIII NCAA Cross Country Championships Live

null

FloTrack will provide exclusive live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Division III NCAA Cross Country National Championships. The DIII NCAA Championships will take place on Nov. 23 in Louisville, Kentucky. The broadcast will begin with the men's race at 10:45am EST, followed by the women's race at 11:45am. Sign up today to watch all three NCAA XC Championships live and get access to all of FloTrack's pre and post-race coverage. A subscription also gives users access to MileSplit and all of the events and premium content across the network of 25 FloSports sites.

How To Watch The 2019 DII NCAA Cross Country Championships Live

null

FloTrack will provide exclusive live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Division II NCAA Cross Country National Championships. The DII NCAA Championships will take place on Nov. 23 in Sacramento, California. The broadcast will begin with the women's race at 1:00pm (EST) and the men's race at 2:15pm. Sign up today to watch all three NCAA XC Championships live and get access to all of FloTrack's pre and post-race coverage. A subscription also gives users access to MileSplit and all of the events and premium content across the network of 25 FloSports sites.

Seven Lingering Questions Ahead Of NCAAs

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The NCAA fields are set and for the most part we have a good idea of who will be contending for the team and individual titles in Terre Haute. But several crucial questions still remain.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

ENTER HERE: 2019 FloXC Fantasy Challenge

2019 FloXC Fantasy Challenge: Final Round, NCAA Championships (POINTS WORTH QUADRUPLE!!!)

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Play FloXC Fantasy & Win A Trip To The 2020 NCAA XC Championships

This year's season-long FloXC fantasy league will give you a chance to compete against the FloTrack staff and be in the running to win the ultimate prize: a FREE trip to the 2020 Division I NCAA XC Championships!

2019 FloXC Fantasy Standings

Here are the current standings for this year's 2019 FloXC Fantasy league. The winner this year will receive a free trip to the 2020 DI NCAA XC Championships! After three rounds 'You've Kurgat to be kidding me!' is our current leader with 1,133 points.