LORNAH KIPLAGAT TO RUN NEW YORK CITY MARATHON
Lornah Kiplagat, the fastest woman ever at the 20-kilometer (12.4-mile)
distance, will make her New York City Marathon debut on November 3.
"It has been my dream to run New York City," Kiplagat recently told
reporters. "I consider it the number one marathon in the world. I am still
very new in the marathon and I wanted to get more experience in running the
marathon, so that when I came to New York, I’d be prepared. Now, I feel
this is the time to do it."
Though Kiplagat, 28, has never competed on the five-borough course before,
she is no stranger to running in New York City. In this summer’s New York
Mini in Central Park, Kiplagat ran the second-fastest 10K ever, finishing
behind world record-setting Asmae Leghzaoui of Morocco.
Three weeks later, Kiplagat bested her time in New York when she won her
third-straight Peachtree 10K in Atlanta in 30:32. She now holds the number
#2 and #3 10K performances in history.
Also in 2002, Kiplagat has captured top honors at the Osaka International
Ladies Marathon (2:23:55), the Monterrey Half-Marathon (1:09:32) and the
SBLI Falmouth Road Race (35:13), where she soundly defeated marathon world
record holder Catherine Ndereba.
"Lornah has been the best road runner in the world this year and has to be
considered the early favorite for this year’s New York City Marathon," said
Allan Steinfeld, president and CEO of New York Road Runners and race
director of the New York City Marathon. "She has all the tools—speed,
strength, and experience—to win here."
Kiplagat is the founder, along with her husband, Pieter, of a training camp
near Iten, Kenya, for talented young female athletes. She supports the camp
with her earnings from running.
One woman hoping to upset Kiplagat’s run for the title is countrywoman
Susan Chepkemei, the runner-up in last year’s New York City Marathon.
The 27-year-old Chepkemei, who like Kiplagat spends part of her year living
and training in the Netherlands, is the world record holder at the
half-marathon distance (1:05:44) and in April knocked nearly two minutes
off her personal best when she finished fifth at the Flora London Marathon
in 2:23:19. Most recently, Chepkemei finished second in the 10,000 meters
at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
Kiplagat, Chepkemei, and the other top-seeded women runners will compete
for more than $235,000 in guaranteed prize money, with $80,000 and a
Pontiac Vibe automobile going to the winner.