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Parts of this piece first appeared in the November issue of Competitor Magazine.
Written by: Mario Fraioli
This Sunday, over 45,000 runners will line up on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for the 41st running of the ING New York City Marathon. The biggest marathon in the world showcases the city that never sleeps, passing through all five boroughs before a grand finish in front of thousands of fans in Central Park.
In this year’s elite races, reigning champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia will be back to defend his title, while last year’s women’s winner, Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, was forced to withdraw from this year’s race because of a knee injury.
There will be plenty of firepower in both races, as this year’s Boston Marathon champions, Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel of Kenya look to add another big-city marathon win to their already impressive racing resumes. The reigning London Marathon champions will be in the mix as well: Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya will contend for victory in the men’s race, while compatriot Mary Keitany should be in the hunt on the women’s side.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the top contenders in both the men’s and women’s races.