The race is chock full of former champions, Olympic champions and course record holders.
The ING New York City Marathon once again boasts a strong field of international athletes for this year’s 43rd running, including past champions and course record holders, as well as winners and course-record holders of other major marathons such as London, Boston, Chicago and the Olympic Games. There is no shortage of sub-2:10 talent (and even sub-2:07 talent) in the field looking to dethrone reigning champion and course-record holder Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya.
Here’s a look at the top-5 international men’s to watch in this year’s race. Later this week, we’ll take separate looks at the top international women, as well as the top American men and women.
RELATED: 2013 New York City Marathon Coverage
1. Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya)
Mutai won this race in 2011 and he did it in dominating, record-setting fashion, taking over 2 minutes off the previous course mark to break the tape in 2:05:06. Mutai has also won in Boston (2:03:02 in 2011) and Berlin (2:04:15 in 2012) and is the heavy favorite heading into this year's race. Photo: PhotoRun.net
2. Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia)
The 26-year-old Kebede is one of the smallest men in the field at 5 feet, 2 inches, but he's also one of the most explosive. Kebede finished third at New York in 2011, but has major wins in Paris, Fukuoka (twice), London (twice) and Chicago to his credit. With a racing resume that rivals anyone else's in the field, and a personal best of 2:04:38 to his own credit, Kebede will be looking to dethrone Mutai on Nov. 3. Photo: PhotoRun.net
3. Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda)
The reigning world and Olympic champion, Kiprotich is making his first appearance in New York. The 24-year-old's personal best in the marathon is 2:07:20, set in 2011 at the Enschede Marathon in the Netherlands. He doesn't have the wheels of a Mutai or Kebede, but he's proven he knows how to win on a big stage, and there's none bigger in November than in New York. Photo: PhotoRun.net
4. Wesley Korir (Kenya)
Korir, 30, is making his NYC Marathon debut. The Louisville grad has run 2:06:13 (Chicago 2012), won Boston in 2012 and taken the L.A. Marathon title twice (2009 and 2010), and he's like nothing more than to be in the hunt for another major win in New York. Photo: PhotoRun.net
5. Stanley Biwott (Kenya)
The 27-year old Kenyan is perhaps the biggest sleeper of the top-5 international athletes to watch. Biwott ran 2:05:12 to win the Paris Marathon in 2012 and also had a sub-59 minute half-marathon PR to his credit. Biwott has a great summer of racing behind him, winning both the Beach to Beacon 10K and the Falmouth Road race, as well as the Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon for the second year in a row. Photo: PhotoRun.net