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A Race Like No Other
2012 ING New York City Marathon Women's Preview and Starter List
By Sharon Ekstrom
See Also: Starter List (bottom of page) | Women's Bios
Photo Credit: Victah Sailer / PhotoRun
2010 Champion Edna Kiplagat Returns
The 2012 New York City Marathon promises an exciting race to come, barring the cleanup following Hurricane Sandy. With 2011 Champion Firehiwott Dado unable to defend her title due to injury, several top elite women will blow into town, including sub-2:26 runners: Edna Kiplagat, Sharon Cherop, Bezunesh Deba, Tiki Gelana, Minisker Mekonnin Demissie, Tatyana Arkiphova Petrova, Kayoko Fukushi, Valeria Straneo, Ana Dulce Felix, Hilda Kibet and Kim Smith. While the race has favorites, there is no clear winner -- which of course makes for a great race.
And sadly the top tier of the US Olympic marathon team have opted out of the marathon, but race organizers have the next tier of talent waiting in the wings to test their meddle on the New York City Streets - women like Amy Hastings, Serena Burla, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom and Adriana Nelson (formerly Adriana Pirtrea).
Redemption: Return of Top Elites
The 2012 New York City Marathon will see 2010 NYC victor Edna Kiplagat return to the city streets. Kiplagat could not defend her title at the 2011 event following an injury in the months following the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. While Kiplagat was on the upswing, there was no telling if her luck had run out; but when she entered the 2012 London Marathon field to face the top Kenyans in what would be the race to determine the 2012 London Olympic team to follow later that summer. She was runner-up in 2:19:50, but consequently made the Kenyan Olympic marathon team and became the 5th fastest Kenyan woman in the world. If she is in top shape, she will shine in the 2012 field; but with a 20th place finish resulting from injury at the 2012 Olympic marathon in August, Kiplagat may have quite the hurdle to overcome to reclaim her title.
Kiplagat will meet several top performers from the 2011 New York City Marathon field. Bizunesh Deba returns to the field. This local area runner put in strong strategic surges to break the pack and half marathon world record holder, Mary Keitany, who was favored to win from the outset. Deba kept with the pace after putting in most of the hard work, but faded in the last few miles leaving the victory to Firehiwott Dado. Deba, who lost by a mere 4 seconds, still nabbed a personal best of 2:23:19. If recovered from the injury which forced her out of the 2012 Boston Marathon, Deba will be one to watch. Anna Dulce Felix, Kim Smith and Misiker Mekonnin Demissie who finished 4th, 5th and 11th, are also back and expected to be in the lead pack.
Rivalry: Olympics, World Championships & More
2011 Reigning World Champion Kiplagat, the only previous winner in the field, will also be rematching Sharon Cherop who took bronze at that event. Cherop is fresh off a 2012 Boston Marathon win in unusually warm conditions. Incidentally, Cherop beat 2011 New York City Marathon champion Dado by three minutes.
Other rivalries of note are the rematch between Tiki Gelana and Valeria Straneo, who last met at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. The two finished 1st and 2nd respectively in what was a breakthrough race for each. Another rivalry will be the showdown between the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Los Angeles Marathon Champions - Arkhipova Petrova, Kiplagat and Deba respectively. While these three women never raced each other in Los Angeles on the same day, perhaps New York can be the decisive factor - let the best woman win!
Attempts at a New Course Record?
With a new course record in the men's race set in 2011 by Geoffrey Mutai -- shattering the 10 year record by over 2m30s -- many are wondering when the women will do the same. With finish times falling on the women's side and times dropping below 2:20 over the past two years, there are two incredibly fast women who will be front and center at the 2012 New York City Marathon - Tiki Gelana (2:18:58) and Edna Kiplagat (2:19:50). Both these women earned their spot on the top 20 fastest finishes of all time in their spring 2012 marathons. Gelana of Ethiopia, cousin to 2000 Olympic Marathon champion and 2001 World Marathon Champion Gezahegne Abera, became the fastest female Ethiopian Marathon. Edna Kiplagat has made a name for herself over the past three years. With highly visible marathon victories aside, Kiplagat's 2:19:50 from the 2012 London Marathon proves that her speed and talents puts her at the top of any roster. But can these women or any other beat the standing course record of 2:22:31 set by Margaret Okayo in 2003?
The field is packed...
|Female Elite Athletes|
|Firehiwot Dado (28)||ETH||101||2:23:15, New York, 2011|| History |
|Buzunesh Deba (25)||ETH||102||2:23:19, New York, 2011|| History |
|Tiki Gelana (25)||ETH||103||2:18:58, Rotterdam, 2012|| History |
|Ana Dulce Felix (30)||POR||104||2:25:40, New York, 2011|| History |
|Kim Smith (30)||NZL||105||2:25:21, London, 2010|| History |
|Edna Kiplagat (33)||KEN||106||2:19:50, London, 2012|| History |
|Sharon Cherop (28)||KEN||107||2:22:39, Boston, 2011|| History |
|Tatyana Arkhipova (29)||RUS||108||2:23:29, Olympic Games, 2012|| History |
|Kayoko Fukushi (30)||JPN||109||2:24:38, Chicago, 2011|| History |
|Valeria Straneo (36)||ITA||110||2:23:44, Rotterdam, 2012|| History |
|Inga Abitova (30)||RUS||112||2:22:19, London, 2010|| History |
|Jelena Prokopcuka (36)||LAT||114||2:22:56, Osaka, 2005|| History |
|Hilda Kibet (31)||NED||115||2:24:27, Rotterdam, 2011|| History |
|Sabrina Mockenhaupt (31)||GER||116||2:26:21, Berlin, 2010|| History |
|Amy Hastings (28)||USA||117||2:27:03, Los Angeles, 2011|| History |
|Eri Okubo (29)||JPN||118||2:26:08, Tokyo, 2012|| History |
|Serena Burla (30)||USA||119||2:28:27, Seoul, 2012|| History |
|Adriana Nelson (32)||USA||120||2:28:52, London, 2008|| History |
|Misiker Mekonnin Demissie (26)||ETH||121||2:25:21, San Diego, 2011|| History |
|Adriana da Silva (31)||BRA||122||2:29:17, Tokyo, 2012|| History |
|Julie Culley (31)||USA||123||Debut|| History |
|Janet Bawcom (34)||USA||124||2:29:45, Olympic Trials, 2012|| History |
|Molly Pritz (24)||USA||125||2:31:52, New York, 2011|| History |
|Susan Partridge (32)||GBR||126||2:34:13, London, 2011|| History |
|Alisha Williams (30)||USA||127||2:35:09, Oly Trials, 2012|| History |
|Wendy Thomas (33)||USA||128||2:34:25, Olympic Trials, 2012|| History |
|Emma Quaglia (32)||ITA||129||Debut|| History |
|Michelle Frey (30)||USA||130||2:35:51, Twin Cities, 2006|| History |
|Aziza Aliyu (34)||ETH||131||2:36:55, Duluth, 2011|| History |
|Leah Thorvilson (33)||USA||132||2:37:26, Little Rock, 2012|| History |
|Devon Crosby-Helms (30)||USA||133||2:38:55, Olympic Trials, 2012|| History |