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Kipsang and Deba for NYC Challenge

NYC replay

NEW YORK – An extraordinary contingent of decorated marathoners from around the world, featuring world record-holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and Bronx resident and two-time New York City Marathon runner-up Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia, will compete in a race for the ages at the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2, 2014, it was announced by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners.

Kipsang, in his first New York City Marathon appearance, will line up against three former New York City Marathon champions—previously announced course record-holder Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya (2011, 2013), Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia (2010), and previously announced American Meb Keflezighi (2009). Deba will  defend her home turf against four former New York City Marathon champions—Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya (2013), Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia (2011), Edna Kiplagat of Kenya (2010), and Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia (2005, 2006).

“This year’s international field of past New York City Marathon champions, record-setters, and global championship medalists echoes the aspirational spirit of the TCS New York City Marathon—bringing the world together to celebrate the diversity of New York City and strive to achieve something bigger than ourselves—a global running community,” said Wittenberg. “We’re proud to welcome Wilson, a world-renowned marathon icon; Buzunesh, the ultimate running ambassador for our City; and an unparalleled field to “get their New York on” with every stride they take through the City’s five boroughs, as they lead runners from Staten Island to Central Park.”

Kipsang, 32, of Kenya, arguably the world’s best marathoner, rewrote history when he set the current marathon world record of 2:03:23 to win the 2013 BMW Berlin Marathon. The 2012 London Olympic Marathon bronze medalist has run under 2:05 five times, the most in history. He won his second Virgin Money London Marathon in 2014 in a course record of 2:04:29 after narrowly missing the record in the 2012 event by four seconds with his time of 2:04:44. He is the two-time champion and the course record-holder at the Frankfurt Marathon, at which he coincidently fell four seconds short of the standing world record in 2011. At the 2009 RAK Half-Marathon, he became the fifth person in history to break 59 minutes with a time of 58:59. Kipsang also won the highly competitive Great North Run in 2012. He will make his New York City Marathon debut in his first return to  the city since winning the 2013 NYC Half.

“I’m ‘getting my New York on!’” said Kipsang. “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.”

Deba, 27, of Ethiopia, who resides in the Bronx, NY, is the fastest-ever New York City female resident in the Marathon by more than 10 minutes, boasting a personal best of 2:19:59, which she ran to finish second in the 2014 Boston Marathon; the time is the fastest that anyone in the women’s field has run in 2014. She has finished in the top nine at the last four New York City Marathons—seventh in 2009, ninth in 2010, and second in 2011 and 2013—and finished second at this year’s 2014 NYC Half. Deba has won eight of the 14 marathons that she has completed in her career and is one of only 18 women in history to have broken 2:20:00 at the distance. After missing the New York City Marathon title by four seconds in 2011 and by less than one minute in 2013, Deba will attempt to become the first New York City resident to accept the coveted laurel wreath in the 40 years since Kathrine Switzer won the race in 1974.

“I’m excited for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon,” said Deba. “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.  With the will of God, this year will be so perfect. 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, the TCS New York City Marathon.”

In addition to Kipsang and past New York City Marathon champions Mutai and Gebremariam, the men’s international field, representing 17 countries, will feature reigning Olympic and World Championship gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda; 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon runner-up Stanley Biwott of Kenya; former 10K world record-holder and Olympic bronze medalist Micah Kogo of Kenya; 2013 New York City Marathon third-place finisher Lusapho April of South Africa; 2012 Tokyo Marathon champion Michael Kipyego of Kenya; Japanese rivals Yuki Kawauchi and Masato Imai, who finished 11th and sixth, respectively, at the 2013 New York City Marathon; 2012 NYC Half champion Peter Cheruiyot Kirui of Kenya; two-time Olympian Abderrahime Bouramdane of Morocco; 2012 Norwegian Olympian Urige Buta; and Irish 5000- and 10,000-meter record-holder Alistair Cragg.

Deba and past New York City Marathon champions Jeptoo, Dado, Kiplagat, and Prokopcuka will be part of an international field representing 11 countries that includes 2011–2012 World Marathon Majors series champion Mary Keitany; 2013 IAAF World Championships Marathon silver medalist Valeria Straneo of Italy; 2012 European 10,000-meter champion Ana Dulce Felix of Portugal; Moroccan Rkia El Moukin, making her debut at the distance; and 2013 European Indoor 3000-meter champion Sara Moreira of Portugal.