This Sunday marks the 40th running of the ING New York City Marathon. The race field, as always, contains some of the worlds most elite athletes. This year the men's field in particular will be causing great excitement as the approach the finish line. 5 of the male atheltes have finished marathons in under 2:06:17, creating great anticipation to see who will claim victor in the 2009 running of the ING Marathon.
The top athletes with previous times of under 2:06:17 are: James Kwambai (2:04:27), Martin Lel (2:05:15), Jaouad Gharib (2;05:27), Patrick Makau (2:06:14) and Ryan Hall (2:06:17), former champions Hendrick Ramaala and Marilson Gomes dos Santos, a four-time world marathon major winner in Robert Cheruiyot, 2008 Boston runner-up Abderrahim Bouramdane, former Olympic silver medallist Meb Keflezighi, and then tons of other top US talent, including US Olympians Abdi Abdirahman, Dan Browne, Brian Sell, and Jorge Torres. While there is favor in one of the following men claiming podium finishes the title is still up for grabs, Jaouad Gharib, Sammy Wanjiru, Patrick Makau.
Martin Lel, a favorite from Kenya, was forced to pull out just this morning due to a leg injury. This last minute pull adds to the unpredictable nature of this marathon.
American sweetheart Ryan Hall may finally claim victor as well and cannot be underestimated. He has been training harder than ever and working with #1 in mind.
Don't forget to set your clocks back on Sunday so you can witness first hand the exciting race! Stay tuned for inside information on the women's field.