Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 1st 2015 Contents A45
November 1, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Last year's New York
Fearnley, right, Mary
Keitany second from
right, Wilson Kipsang,
second from left, and
left, pose for a picture
with marathon grand
marshal Spike Lee,
center, during a news
conference in New
York, Thursday,. The
marathon will be run
today. AP PHOTO
NEW YORK---Wilson Kipsang is a four-time major
marathon champion and former world-record hold-
er.What he can t guarantee is whether he ll be an
Olympian. Kipsang and fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany
look to defend their titles today at the New York City
Marathon in what could also be an audition for the
team that goes to next summer s Rio Games. Their
home country, with many more elite marathoners
than the three slots allotted, briefly planned to hold
trials before scrapping that idea.
Exactly how Athletics Kenya will pick its represen-
tatives remains unclear. The process did not pan out
four years ago, when the world s top distance running
nation failed to win gold in the men s or women s
marathon. Kipsang was the bronze medalist in 2012,
but he would ve forgone the chance to go for gold in
2016 had Kenya proceeded to hold trials in February,
running a lucrative spring marathon instead. He d
prefer for the team to be picked in February based on
runners overall abilities so the selectees can start
readying themselves mentally to peak in August.
"You know how to run the next race and try to
prepare," Kipsang said.
But the choices won t be made until after the spring
marathon season, and he worries those races will carry
outsize important. Kipsang noted that he finished
fifth --- a major disappointment by his standards ---
in the London Marathon in April 2013 only to set the
world record the following September.
"It s not an indication if you run well in February
that you re going to run well in August," he said.
"Marathon is more about preparation and training."
Other top Kenyans running include Stanley Biwott,
the runner-up to Kipsang at the 2014 London
Marathon, and reigning Boston Marathon women s
champion Caroline Rotich.
"Right now I don t know yet how it s going to be
picked, but it s part of what I want to be in my life,"
Rotich said of the Olympic team. "I d love to represent
(Kenya) and be in the Olympics. It s one of those
things where I m going to get out there and do my
The US uses the model of holding Olympic trials
in February, so most of the top Americans are skipping
New York. One exception is 40-year-old Meb
Keflezighi, the 2009 NYC Marathon champ. Keflezighi
--- whose resume also includes a 2004 Olympic silver
medal and the 2014 Boston Marathon title --- won the
2012 trials after running New York when the turnaround
was even shorter.
As usual, the Ethiopians will challenge the Kenyans.
Lelisa Desisa won his second Boston Marathon title
in April, after Kipsang pulled away from him in Central
Park last year in New York. Yemane Tsegay is looking
to break through following a runner-up finish in Boston
to Desisa and a silver medal at the world championships
just 10 weeks ago.
Reigning London Marathon champion Tigist Tufa
is part of a deep field on the women s side. Tufa is
also coming off an appearance at worlds, where she
placed sixth. Kipsang dropped out of the world cham-
pionships race with about five miles to go, wilting in
the Beijing heat. He now prefers to think of it as "just
like a normal long run in training" as part of his prepa-
ration for New York.
He made his NYC Marathon debut last year, hoping
to test himself on the hilly course without a pacesetter,
and proved up to the challenge of a tactical race. On
a windy day, he finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 59
seconds --- the slowest winning time in New York
since 1995, and more than 7 1/2 minutes off his former
world record. Today is again expected to be windy,
though not as bad as last year. And Kipsang now has
the advantage of his familiarity with the course.
The 45th running of the NYC Marathon will take
more than 50,000 runners through the five boroughs.
For just the third time, the race will have a grand mar-
shal. Spike Lee will serve in that role, riding along the
26.2-mile course in a 1969 Chrysler 300 convertible.
Lee put together a short video entitled "Da New Yawk
Joint," an ode to the city that will open the television
Kenya's Kipsang, Keitany try to defend NYC Marathon titles
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