Because the TCS New York Metropolis Marathon, the yr’s remaining main marathon, approaches, it’s anticipated to host probably the most aggressive ladies’s subject ever, comprising world champions, Olympic champions, world document holders and former NYC marathon winners. Might this be the yr that Margaret Okayo’s course document of two:22:31 (from 2003) is lastly damaged?
If what we’ve seen to this point this yr is any indication, we predict it won’t stand previous Sunday. First there was Sifan Hassan‘s spectacular debut, profitable first London (in April) after which Chicago (in October). In September, Tigist Assefa shattered the ladies’s world document in Berlin with an jaw-dropping 2:11:53.
Provided that it’s been 20 years because the course document was final damaged in New York, the timing appears proper. The ladies’s elite subject is full of expertise, together with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon champion and 2021 NYC champion Peres Jepchirchir, reigning NYC champion Sharon Lokedi, 2023 Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, ladies’s 10,000m world document holder Letesenbet Gidey, reigning world champion Amane Beriso and the third-fastest girl in historical past and former world document holder, Brigid Kosgei. The 2023 ladies’s elite race in NYC boasts the calibre of an Olympic or world marathon, with the perfect athletes competing on the largest marathon main stage.
So who’s the favorite?
Any of those six ladies might win on Sunday, nevertheless it’s difficult to miss Obiri’s power and talent. Final yr, the 33-year-old Kenyan made her marathon debut in NYC, falling wanting her targets. She revealed struggles with fueling and an imperfect bodily situation for the race. Shortly after the 2022 World Championships, she relocated from Kenya to Boulder, Colo., becoming a member of the On Athletics Membership underneath the steering of coach Dathan Ritzenhein.
Amid excessive expectations attributable to her profitable observe profession and quite a few world cross-country championships, Obiri completed sixth, in 2:25:49. Nevertheless, she made a outstanding comeback, clinching victory in Boston in April. When requested about collaborating within the 2023 World Athletics Championships after her Boston triumph, Obiri declared her focus was on returning to NYC and profitable.
Throughout the athlete press convention on Thursday, her coach, Ritzenhein, mentioned she’s at the moment in the perfect form he’s ever seen her in. Contemplating her dominant efficiency in Boston, it seems this race is hers to lose.
What about Kosgei and Gidey?
It’s been a minute since we noticed Kenya’s Kosgei and Ethiopia’s Gidey run a marathon. Kosgei hasn’t completed a marathon since March 2022, when she gained the Tokyo Marathon. She was one of many favourites heading into London this yr (a race she has gained twice) however ended up with a DNF. Kosgei held the ladies’s world document till Assefa broke her mark of two:14:04 in Berlin in September. We all know Kosgei is quick, however she hasn’t raced since April, and New York’s sluggish and hilly course may very well be a problem for her return.
Gidey involves New York with one marathon on her resume. After a world-record-setting profession on the observe, Gidey made her extremely awaited debut on the distance final yr in Valencia–one of many quickest marathon programs on this planet. Everybody anticipated Gidey to obliterate Kosgei’s world document, and she or he didn’t have a foul debut. Nonetheless, she was humbled by the space, ending second to her compatriot, Beriso, with a time of two:16:49–a document, on the time for the fastest-ever ladies’s marathon debut.
Gidey has had an up-and-down 2023 season, by her personal requirements. She gained silver within the ladies’s 10,000m at Worlds and ran sub 14:10 over 5,000m twice, holding the fourth, fifth and sixth quickest ladies’s 5,000m instances in historical past. Gidey possesses observe pace, and if this had been a half-marathon on Sunday, her 10,000m world document and three world cross titles would serve her nicely on this undulating course. Nevertheless, in a marathon, relying solely on observe pace has its limitations. If the 25-year-old can exhibit the stamina wanted for 42.2 km, she would possibly find yourself being the shock winner. Racing towards Obiri, Gidey beforehand bested her for gold within the 10,000m on the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha; if the race begins quick, might she outperform Obiri as soon as once more?
The previous champions
It’s been seven years because the NYC marathon final noticed a repeat champion, with Kenya’s Mary Keitany (2015 and 2016), however can final yr’s champ, Lokedi, be part of that unique membership? Final yr, Lokedi gained the marathon in her debut, which marked the first-ever marathon main win for an Underneath Armour-sponsored athlete. However since her historic triumph, issues have been rocky for Lokedi, who needed to withdraw from the Boston Marathon attributable to a foot damage that took her out for almost all of the season. She says she is again, and desires to defend her NYC title. One factor Lokedi has in her favour as defending champion is confidence. She is aware of the course, which supplies her a strategic benefit.
One other former NYC champion making a return to New York is the reigning Olympic champion, Jepchirchir. Tactically, Jepchirchir could be top-of-the-line racers within the subject, a trait she showcased when she triumphed right here in 2021 and went on to win the Boston Marathon 5 months later. She has gained 5 of her final six marathons, and if the tempo units out conservatively on Sunday, it can seemingly favour extra tactical-style racers like her and Obiri. However there are issues, since Jepchirchir is coming back from an damage and isn’t sure she is going to begin on Sunday. Throughout Thursday’s elite press convention, she talked about re-aggravating her calf damage simply earlier than she travelled to New York final week. She’ll make the choice after her remaining shakeout run on Saturday.
A darkish horse
Many who’re following the race can have their eyes on Obiri, Gidey or Jepchirchir. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re searching for a shock in NYC, it’s more likely to come from Ethiopia’s Beriso. Since her victory within the 2022 Mexico Metropolis Marathon in August final yr, Beriso has been in unimaginable type, attaining a powerful 2:14:58 win in Valencia–the fifth-fastest time in historical past. She was additionally the runner-up to Obiri in Boston and secured her first world championship title on the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August. Beriso’s latest success suggests she’s in outstanding type, and it wouldn’t be stunning to see her atop the rostrum once more, which might be a storybook ending to her yr.
Methods to watch
The 2023 TCS New York Metropolis Marathon shall be aired in Canada on TSN, with protection starting at 8:00 a.m. ET Sunday. You may as well stream the occasion stay on-line through the TSN app or through TSN.ca/stay.
All of the motion for the 2023 TCS New York Metropolis Marathon shall be dropped at you by Canadian Operating and New Steadiness. Comply with us on Twitter on Instagram for in-depth protection, live-tweeting and up-to-date unique information and content material.