Wilson Kipsang and Buzunesh Deba will head the male and female New York City Marathon line-ups on Sunday, November 2.
Kipsang, the marathon world record holder (2:03:23), has shown fine form already this year, claiming his second London Marathon title back in April in a course record of 2:04:29.
The 32-year-old will no doubt return to the big apple with fond memories, having won the New York City Half in 2013.
November’s race will the be the Kenyan’s first appearance in the world-famous marathon. Kipsang spoke: “My preparations for the TCS New York City Marathon have begun, and every day before training I know that without self-discipline, success is impossible.”
Kipsang won’t have it all his own way though. Former champions Geoffrey Mutai, Gebre Gebremariam and Meb Keflezighi will all be challenging for the title and, with previous course experience, will all be strong contenders.
Other notable names include Stephen Kiprotich – the reigning Olympic marathon champion, Stanley Biwott – runner-up at this year’s London Marathon, and Micah Kogo – a former 10K world record-holder and 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist.
Bronx resident Deba will head the female billing and, with two second place finishes to her name (2011 and 2013), the 27-year-old will be keen to go one better this time round.
The Ethiopian is one of only 18 women in the history of the event to dip under the 2:20:00 barrier and her 2:19:59 clocking in the Boston Marathon earlier this year makes her the fastest entry on paper.
Deba said: “As they say, ‘the third time’s the charm.’ After having two previous years of successful experience, I believe this year will be the most exciting.
“I have been training very well and find myself in good shape.
“I can’t wait to get back again on the streets of my hometown, New York City, and see the passion, love, and amusement of all my fans. I am so proud of being a New Yorker and part of the most prestigious World Marathon Major.”
Challenging the Ethiopian will be reigning NYC Marathon champion Priscah Jeptoo, 2011 victor Firehiwot Dado, two-time champion Jeƒºena Prokopƒçuka (2005 and 2006), 2014 London Marathon winner Edna Kiplagat and recent Great North Run champion and course record holder, Mary Keitany.