Four Kenyans are in the race for the 2011-2012 World Marathon Majors (WMM) titles at the 2012 New York City Marathon on November 4. The 2011 world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop, lead the women's field, while 2012 Olympic marathon bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang and 2011 Chicago Marathon winner Moses Mosop lead the men's contingent.
The four join a superlative set of some of the world's best marathoners in the battle.
Kiplagat and Cherop will be up against the 2012 Olympic Marathon champion Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia and bronze medallist Tatyana Arkhipova of Russia. On the other hand Kipsang and Mosop will try their luck against New York champion Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia, and 2010 New York champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia.
Previously announced runners for the men's race include three-time U.S. Olympian and 2009 winner Meb Keflezighi, four-time USA Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, 2012 Boston Marathon fourth-placer Jason Hartmann, and 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials fifth-placer Brett Gotcher.
New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, 2012 U.S. Olympians Julie Culley, Amy Hastings, and Janet Bawcom, and top U.S. contenders Michelle Frey, Alisha Williams, Serena Burla, and Molly Pritz are the previously women's race, previously announced field. Kiplagat, 32, of Kenya, is ranked number three by the ARRS amongst the world's marathoners.
She finished second in London Marathon this year with a personal best time of 2:19:50, earning a spot on the Kenyan Olympic marathon team. Kiplagat won the 2010 New York City Marathon in a time of 2:28:20. She also won this year's NYRR New York Mini 10K. Kiplagat is ranked second on the 2011-2012 WMM leader board with 50 points.
"I've always loved running on the streets of New York, so I was really disappointed last year to miss the New York City Marathon because of the knee injury from my terrible fall at the World Championships," said Kiplagat. "I am, of course, very, very happy to be invited back to NYC this year, and will be doing my best to try to win the race again."
Cherop, 28, is 2011 World Championships Marathon bronze medallist. She claimed a position as one of the top marathoners in the world with an 11-minute personal best of 2:22:42 to win the 2010 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon - the fastest women's time ever run in Canada. Her Marathon personal best of 2:22:39 was set at the 2012 Dubai Marathon. She is ranked third on the 2011-2012 WMM leaderboard with 45 points; this will be her New York City Marathon debut.