Andy Vernon is amongst a top elite field announced this week for the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon.

After having to withdraw from this year’s London Marathon due to a hamstring injury the AFD man will look to lay down his 26.2 credentials on the stress of New York.

Vernon could be well suited to the hard undulating course and there will keen interest amongst British distance fans to see how the popular athlete runs in his debut marathon. We know his pedigree at cross country and at 10,000m where his has won a European silver medal and has a PB of 27:42 but he remains an unknown quantity at the marathon.

The chase for times

The New York City Marathon has tended to be less popular in recent years amongst Brits looking for a quick autumn or winter Marathon with Berlin and Chicago offering flatter profiles and longer build up to spring races including the London Marathon.

With the IAAF standard now set at 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women the most Brits will have their eyes on courses that offer the best chance for quick times for Tokyo next year.

However the dual qualification system also recognises a top 10 finish in a World Marathon Major event (which includes NYC Marathon). 10th placed finisher Chris Derrick ran 2:13:08 in 2018 and in 2017 the 10th place finisher ran 2:14:57. Despite the profile of the course these times are well within Vernon’s ability but regardless of times the race clearly affords the opportunity to build critical experience before London 2020.

A happy hunting ground

History shows this can be a happy hunting ground for British Athletes. Steve Jones’ winning time of 2:08:20 in 1988 and Paula Radcliffe’s wins in 2004, 2007 and 2008 are testiment to that along with victories for priscilla Welch in 1987 and Liz McColgan in 1991.

In 2018 eight British men went inside 2:30 with Jonny Mellor leading the way in 2:16:09 for 15th place. Three British women ran inside three hours with St Albans Strider Gillian Pease (2:55:14) the fastest.

Champions return

Defending champions – Kenya’s Mary Keitany and Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa will both return in 2019.
Keitany will go for her fifth career title in New York and Desisa will look to post back-to-back victories.

This year’s TCS New York City Marathon professional athlete field was officially announced by a pair of Rising New York Road Runners Youth Ambassadors, as NYRR marks 20 years of its free youth running programs.

“We’re thrilled to have all four of our defending champions return to the TCS New York City Marathon and lead a world-class professional athlete field through the streets of the five boroughs on November 3rd,” said NYRR president and CEO Michael Capiraso.

Keitany, Diver, Aga and Degefa line up

In 2018, Keitany became the second woman to win in New York in the open division four times, recording the second-fastest time in event history in 2:22:48. It was her fourth win in five years and she’s the only woman other than Grete Waitz to win the race four times.

Keitany is the women-only marathon world record-holder (2:17:01) and is a two-time winner of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, having taken the series titles in 2012 and 2016.

Keitany will be challenged this year by 2019 Boston Marathon champion Worknesh Degefa, 2019 Tokyo Marathon champion Ruti Aga, 2019 United Airlines NYC Half champion Joyceline Jepkosgei, 2018 Boston Marathon champion and two-time U.S. Olympian Des Linden and Australian sensation Sinead Diver. No British or Irish women feature in this year’s elite field.

Kitany said “New York has become a second home to me, and every year I circle the TCS New York City Marathon on my calendar as a date to look forward to. I’m very excited to return on November 3 to race for my fifth New York City Marathon title on my favourite course in the world.”

Desisa, Kitata and Kamworor go head to head again

Desisa won his first TCS New York City Marathon title last year after finishing on the podium three times previously. He held off fellow Ethiopian Shura Kitata by two seconds to finish in 2:05:59, the second-fastest time in event history. Desisa also has two Boston Marathon titles to his name, having won in 2013 and 2015.

Runner-up Kitata will be back again this year to challenge Desisa, as will 2017 TCS New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, who finished third last year.

“After finishing second and third before, I finally won my first TCS New York City Marathon title last year and it was one of my proudest moments in my life” said Desisa at the elite field press conference “I had been waiting for that day to come for some time. I’m looking forward to defending my title this November and lining up against Shura Kitata”

Men’s elite field

Abdi Abdirahman, USA 2:08:56
Collin Bennie, USA
Michel Butter, NED 2:09:58
Mizael Carrera, PUR 2:19:29
Kiya Dandena, USA 2:12:56
Birhanu Dare, ETH 2:12:21
Lelisa Desisa, ETH 2:04:45
Arne Gabius, GER 2:08:33
Mo Hrezi, LBA 2:18:40
Tyler Jermann, USA 2:13:39
Jamie Julia, PUR 2:20:17
Geoffrey Kamworor, KEN 2:06:12
Shura Kitata, ETH 2:04:49
Jarrett LeBlanc, USA 2:13:51
Craig Leon, USA 2:13:40
Albert Korir, KEN 2:08:03
Jorge Maravilla, USA 2:21:57
Brendan Martin, USA 2:15:30
Tyler McCandless, USA 2:12:28
Matt McClintock, USA 2:18:03
Connor McMillan, USA 2:23:28
Daniel Mesfun, ERI 2:10:06
Mustafa Mohamed, SWE 2:12:28
Harbert Okuti, UGA 2:13:01
Tyler Pennel, USA 2:13:32
Yassine Rachik, ITA 2:08:05
John Raneri, USA
Brett Robinson, AUS 2:10:55
Jack Rayner, AUS 2:11:06
Stephen Sambu, KEN 2:11:07
Louis Serafini, USA 2:17:25
Yoshiki Takenouchi, JPN 2:10:01
Tamirat Tola, ETH 2:04:06
Andy Vernon, GBR
Joe Whelan, USA 2:13:39
Jared Ward, USA 2:09:25
Tadesse Yae, ETH 2:11:50

Elite Women’s Field

Ruti Aga, ETH 2:18:34
Meseret Ali, ETH 2:40:41
Jennifer Bigham, USA 2:41:37
Molly Bookmyer, USA 2:44:07
Worknesh Degefa, ETH 2:17:41
Nicole DiMercurio, USA 2:36:03
Buze Diriba, ETH 2:28:06
Sinead Diver, AUS 2:24:11
Belaynesh Fikadu, ETH 2:26:41
Megan Foster, USA 2:43:44
Bose Gemeda, ETH 2:39:15
Bizuwork Getahun, ETH 2:36:29
Sasha Gollish, CAN 2:32:54
Kaitlin Goodman, USA 2:32:08
Alia Gray, USA 2:34:00
Roberta Groner, USA 2:29:09
Sara Hall, USA 2:26:20
Yinli He, CHN 2:27:35
Danna Herrick, USA 2:32:19
Joyciline Jepkosgei, KEN
Katy Jermann, USA 2:33:41
Ana Johnson, USA 2:43:11
Mary Keitany, KEN 2:17:01
Allie Kieffer, USA 2:28:12
Nancy Kiprop, KEN 2:22:12
Kate Landau, USA 2:33:29
Desiree Linden, USA 2:22:28
Margo Malone, USA 2:42:22
Mary Ngugi, KEN 2:28:33
Diane Nukuri, USA 2:27:50
Ellie Pashley, AUS 2:26:21
Paula Pridgen, USA 2:41:29
Lindsey Scherf, USA 2:32:19
Gerda Steyn, RSA 2:31:04
Kellyn Taylor, USA 2:24:29

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