■ What’s the situation with security? It will be more intense this year, because of the terrorist incident in Lower Manhattan. The police said they would use snipers, aviation units, undercover officers and sanitation trucks filled with sand, known as blocker cars, that help prevent someone from driving into crowds of people.
When Malika Andrews, a Times reporter, spoke with runners last week, she said that most runners from other countries she spoke with were less concerned about security than were the runners she spoke with from the New York area. Her article is here.
Top Women Contenders
Mary Keitany (Kenya)
She’s the three-time defending champion. Only she and Grete Waitz have won three or more in a row. (Waitz won three in a row from 1978 to 1980 and then five in a row from 1982 to 1986.) Last year, Keitany won by 3 minutes 34 seconds — the largest margin of victory since 1980. Keitany also holds the women-only marathon world record — 2 hours 17 minutes 1 second — which she set in April at the London Marathon, breaking Paula Radcliffe’s 12-year-old mark.
Edna Kiplagat (Kenya)
She won this race in 2010, but has been back only once since (13th in 2014). She was the 2011 and 2013 world champion, the only back-to-back winner. She was second at this year’s world championships. She also won this year’s Boston Marathon. At 37, she is still in excellent form.
Mare Dibaba (Ethiopia)
The 2015 world champion and bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics. Her 2015 title, at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, was a sprint win over three other women. She competed briefly for Azerbaijan in 2009, but quickly returned to her native country.
Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia)
Based in the Bronx, she was second in this race in 2011. She won the 2014 Boston Marathon after the original winner, Rita Jeptoo, was disqualified for doping. She hasn’t really sparkled since then, but is still only 30.
Shalane Flanagan (United States)
She was the silver medalist in the 10K at the Beijing Olympics (upgraded from bronze because of doping). She was second in her marathon debut in New York in 2010. She dropped out of consideration for this year’s Boston Marathon with a fracture in her back.
Top Men Contenders
Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia)
He was the winner of the Boston Marathon in 2013, the year of the bombing. He endeared himself to the people of Boston by presenting his winner’s medal back to the city to honor the victims. He also gave his racing bib to two of the victims. “Sport holds the power to unify people,” he said. “Sport should never be used as a battleground.”
He returned to win Boston in 2015 as well. He has been second (2014) and third (2015) in New York, but has never won here. He won the silver medal at the 2013 world championships.
Meb Keflezighi (United States)
At 42, Keflezighi plans to retire after this race, his 26th marathon. A fan favorite for years, he was born in Eritrea and came to the United States at age 12.
He won New York in 2009, and Boston in 2014. He won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and competed in three Olympics, including Rio. He holds the 40-and-over record for New York, which is 2:13:32.
He is the only American to win Boston since 1983, and the only American to win New York since 1982. He is the only man from any country to win New York, Boston and an Olympic marathon medal.
But he isn’t really a contender to win this year; he told Sports Illustrated: “Maybe top 10. To be on the podium would be huge.”
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (Eritrea)
The defending champion and the young superstar of the sport. He won New York last year at age 20, making him the youngest male winner. He won the 2015 world championships at 19, the youngest winner for that competition. He was fourth in the Rio Olympics, almost a disappointment.
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya)
He won this race in 2014, then was fourth the next year before skipping last year. He was the bronze medalist at the London Olympics. Unusually consistent, he is the only man to rank in the world top 10 for the last six years. He is a former world-record holder at 2:03:23, set in Berlin in 2013 (and broken the next year). He won the Tokyo Marathon this year.
Lemi Berhanu (Ethiopia)
He won Boston last year at age 21 and is another up-and-comer.