Who will be the top American in the Big Apple on Sunday?
Much like Ryan Hall’s withdrawal from the men’s field, Kara Goucher’s notable absence from this year’s New York City Marathon will make things interesting amongst the U.S. women entered in Sunday’s race. The Americans will be led by 2012 Olympians Amy Hastings and Janet Bawcom — who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon but later made the team in the 10,000m — with marathon up-and-comers Alisha Williams (2:34:58 to win Cal International last December) and Mattie Suver, who is running just her second marathon. Adriana Nelson, the reigning U.S. half-marathon champion whose marathon PR dates back to 2008, should also be in the mix in the top American entrants.
While a win or finishing on the podium seem unlikely, placing a few runners in the top 10 is a strong possibility. Here’s a look at the top five American women to watch on Sunday.
1. Amy Hastings
Hastings, who was set to make her NYC debut last November, returns this year to tackle 26.2 in the Big Apple. The 2:27 marathoner, who was fouth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon but later made the team in the 10,000m, has had a solid year at shorter distances, PR'ing in the 5,000m with a 15:09. She lives and trains in Providence, R.I. with New Zealand's Kim Smith, who is also entered in the race. Photo: www.photorun.net
2. Janet Bawcom
A 2012 Olympian in the 10,000m, Bawcom has established herself as a top-notch road racer in recent years. She enters the race with a 2:29:45 PR and will be looking to make her NYC Marathon debut a memorable one. Photo: www.photorun.net
3. Adriana Nelson
The Romanian-born Nelson, who is now a U.S. citizen, won the U.S. half marathon championship earlier this year in 1:11:19. She comes into New York with a 2:28:52 personal best from five years ago in London, a mark she will have to equal or better to be competitive in New York. Photo: www.photorun.net
4. Alisha Williams
Last year's NYC Marathon cancellation worked in Williams' favor, as she went on to win the Cal International Marathon in a personal best time of 2:34:58. She finished fifth in the 10,000m at the Olympic Trials Marathon in 2012 and could surprise more than a few fans with a breakthrough performance on Sunday in the Big Apple. Photo: www.photorun.net
5. Mattie Suver
Suver has only run one marathon — the 2012 Olympic Trials race in Houston — and it didn't go so well, as she finished in 2:50:23. Only 26, she's had a great 2013 racing campaign, with a 26th-place finish at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March and a runner-up at the U.S. 20K Championships in September. Photo: www.photorun.net