The New York City Marathon will feature the reigning New York City, Boston and London Marathon champions.
The 2018 New York City Marathon's elite field of women for Nov. 4th now boasts the reigning New York City, Boston and London Marathon champions in addition to three-time champion Mary Keitany of Kenya. The full field of women was released by the New York Road Runners on Tuesday morning.
Keitany holds the women's only marathon world record of 2:17:01 from her victory at the 2017 London Marathon. Paula Radcliffe's world record of 2:15:25 while being paced by men is the only time faster than Keitany. Keitany followed that performance up with a runner-up finish to Shalane Flanagan in last year's New York City Marathon.
Flanagan became the first American woman in 40 years to win the race, ending Keitany's streak of three consecutive victories. If Keitany is able to reclaim her title, she would become just the second four-time women's champion after Norway's Grete Waitz, who won the race nine times from 1978 to 1988. Keitany finished fifth in April's London Marathon.
Her Kenyan compatriot, Vivian Cheruiyot, won this year's London Marathon in 2:18:31. She leads an Ethiopian contingent that also includes the 2018 World Half Marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta and last year's New York City Marathon third place finisher Mamitu Daska. No Ethiopian woman has won the New York City Marathon since Derartu Tulu in 2009.
If the Americans want to continue that streak and extend their own from last year, they will have to count on Flanagan to defend her title or Des Linden becoming the first woman to win Boston and New York in the same year since Norway's Ingrid Kristainsen in 1989. However, the United States will also have 27-time U.S. champion Molly Huddle racing. Huddle was considered a favorite to potentially win April's Boston Marathon before the maelstrom-like conditions resulted in a 16th place finish in 2:50:28. Huddle made her marathon debut with a 2:28:13 run in New York in 2016 after setting the 10,000 meter American record at the Rio Olympics.
“Running a marathon is always a special experience, but I’m really excited to line up with such a great group of American women in New York this year," Huddle said in a news release. "I’m so inspired by what Shalane and Des have accomplished over the last 12 months, and I’m eager to add my name to that list.”
Stephanie Bruce (the U.S. 10K champion and mother of two), Allie Kieffer (last year's NYC Marathon 5th place finisher) and Sally Kipyego (201210,000 meter Olympic silver medalist) are the only other elite U.S. women in the field who have run under 2:30. Sarah Sellers, the full-time nurse who surprised many with her runner-up finish at the Boston Marathon, will look to improve her personal best of 2:44:04.