|Joyciline Jepkosgei after setting a new world record for the half marathon|
Joyceline Jepkosgei will be running the marathon distance for the first time at the New York City Marathon in November. It is understandable when the focus is at times given to other athletes coming to run here, given the depth of the elite field. But, it is worth noting that with world records in the 10km and half marathon distances, Jepkosgei will surely be one of the biggest stars to watch out for here.
A few days ago in Cape Elizabeth USA, Jepkosgei just won the Beach to Beacon 10km race in an impressive time of 31:05. This is a good indication that she is already in great form this season with slightly less than 3 months to the New York City Marathon. But, she could not beat the course record of 30:43 set by Mary Keitany in 2017.
Besides Keitany who arguably stands out as the favorite among many fans returning to attempt a fifth title here, there are other high profile runners who will make it hard for Jepkosgei to earn a victory in her first marathon race.
Ruti Aga, currently ranked 5th by IAAF for the marathon and having a personal best time of 2:18.34 will be another woman to watch out for. Last year, she finished second at the Tokyo marathon and finished at the same position later in the year at the Berlin Marathon. This year, she already started by winning the Tokyo Marathon and if her results from last year have anything to do in predicting how she will run in New York, then this could be the year she is interchanging her second finishes from last year with first finishes this year.
Another one to watch out for in the women’s race will be Worknesh Dagefa. Dagefa has the second fastest personal best time of 2:17.41 on the start list and has already won the Boston Marathon earlier this year in April.
The hard-fighting Desiree Linden will be the local elite runner carrying the hopes of the US fans. She has already proven that she has what it takes to win a major marathon having won the Boston Marathon last year. With the local fans cheering her along and her having proven that it is possible for a US runner to win a major marathon on US soil will probably give her some added morale going into the New York City Marathon.