Professional athlete field to include 12 past champions, 22 Olympians, and 20 Paralympians from 29 different countries
New York, October 10, 2017 - Former champion Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and two-time runner-up Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia, who trains in the Bronx, have been added to the professional athlete field for the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5.
Kipsang and Deba will join a previously announced professional athlete field that represents 29 different countries and now includes 12 past champions, 22 Olympians, and 20 Paralympians. They will toe the line with defending champions Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea and Mary Keitany of Kenya, along with Americans and NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors Meb Keflezighi, who will be running the 26th and final marathon of his career, and Shalane Flanagan, who will be returning to the race for the first time since her runner-up finish in 2010.
"We are thrilled to welcome back Wilson and Buzunesh to the TCS New York City Marathon, where they have both had great success before," said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. "An already talented professional athlete field just became stronger, as both Wilson and Buzunesh will challenge for podium positions. It will be great for the millions of fans watching in New York City and around the world to see these two world-class runners take to the five-borough course, particularly Buzunesh, who trains here in the Bronx, the borough where New York Road Runners was founded."
Kispang, 35, of Kenya won the TCS New York City Marathon in 2014 in his debut on the five-borough course, taking the tape in 2:10:59, just seven seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa. He went on to claim the World Marathon Majors title that year. Already in 2017, Kipsang has set a new Tokyo Marathon course record of 2:03:58 with his first-place finish in February. Kipsang previously held the marathon world record of 2:03:23, which he ran at the 2013 BMW Berlin Marathon, until Dennis Kimetto broke it at the same event the following year. The 2012 London Olympic Marathon bronze medalist has run under 2:05 eight times, the most of any runner in history.
"My training was excellent before Berlin, but I had a bad day there," Kipsang said. "Now, I am very happy and thankful I was given a chance to use my training effort in New York City, and will try to win there as I did three years ago."
Deba, 30, of Ethiopia trains in the Bronx and was the New York City Marathon runner-up in 2011 and 2013. She won the Boston Marathon in 2014, setting the course record of 2:19:59, and is a nine-time marathon champion on U.S. soil, having recorded a career-high four wins in 2010. She also holds victories in the California International Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, Los Angeles Marathon, Grandma’s Marathon and Twin Cities Marathon.
"I love racing in New York because New York is my city," Deba said. "I will do my very best at the TCS New York City Marathon not just for myself, but also for the people of Bronx where I live. I know they will be cheering for me from everywhere. If I don't win this year, I believe in myself; I will win the TCS New York City Marathon one day."
Six professional athletes have scratched from the race since the original announcement of the field: Esther Atkins, Dailin Belmonte, Neely Gracey, Tara Welling, and Hiroyuki Yamamoto in the open division and Aaron Pike in the wheelchair division.
The full professional athlete field for the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon can be found here.
The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will offer a total guaranteed prize purse of $825,000 - with potential time bonuses - with the wheelchair division prize purse increasing by 25 percent this year to become the largest wheelchair prize purse of any marathon in the world. The men’s and women’s open division winners will once again receive $100,000 each, while the first-place finishers in the wheelchair division will now receive $20,000. The USA prize purse for the open division will total $116,000, with the men’s and women’s winners each receiving $25,000.
The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which is made up of the world’s six largest and most renowned road races – the Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW Berlin, Bank of America Chicago and TCS New York City Marathons. The current series also includes the IAAF World Championship Marathon. Points are allocated to the top five finishers in each race.
The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will be televised live on Sunday, November 5, on WABC-TV, Channel 7 in the New York tristate area from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, and for the rest of the nation on ESPN2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.
About the TCS New York City Marathon
The TCS New York City Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the largest marathon in the world. Over 1,000,000 people have finished the race since its first running in 1970 with just 127 entrants and 55 finishers running four laps around Central Park. The race expanded to all five boroughs in 1976 and just celebrated its 40th year as a five-borough affair. Held annually on the first Sunday of November, the race features over 50,000 runners including the world’s top professional athletes and a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. Participants from approximately 125 countries tour the city, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and running through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx before ending in Manhattan. The NYRR Youth Invitational at the TCS New York City Marathon covered 1.8 miles of the race course in Central Park, beginning near mile 24 and finishing at the famed TCS New York City Marathon finish line. More than one million spectators and thousands of volunteers line the city streets in support of the runners, while millions more watch the television broadcast in 175 countries and territories, including viewers in the New York area on WABC-TV, Channel 7, nationally on ESPN2, and via various international broadcast partners. The race is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which features the world’s top marathons—Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York—and crowns the top professional male and female marathoners each year. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, is the premier partner of NYRR and the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon. The 47th running of the TCS New York City Marathon is set for November 5, 2017. To learn more, visit TCSNYCMarathon.org.