Emmanuel Mutai, Martin Lel will run ING NYC Marathon

Emmanuel Mutai won the 2011 London Marathon with a new course record. Photo by EStepnist/FLickr.

The ING New York City Marathon is the world’s biggest marathon. It’s no wonder the race attracts some of the world’s biggest names in running. Emmanuel Mutai, Martin Lel, and Jaouad Gharib will join defending champion Gebre Gebremariam and 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi in the race on November 6.

Kenya’s Lel, 33, won the ING New York City Marathon in 2003 and 2007, and will be returning to the race for the first time since that 2007 victory. He also won the Virgin London Marathon in 2003, 2007 and 2008, and placed fifth at the 2008 Olympics. After battling two years of injuries he came back with a second place finish in the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in April, losing to none other than Emmanuel Mutai.

Kenya’s Mutai, 27, won the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in a course record time of 2:04:40. He finished second in the 2010 New York City Marathon to Ethiopia’s Gebre Gebremariam, who won last year’s race in his marathon debut. Gebremariam will be back to defend his title, and now Mutai will be on hand to challenge him and take on Lel once more.

“Winning New York would mean I have won two of the biggest races in the world in one year,” Mutai said. “I know I have a chance to win the overall World Marathon Major title as well, but I can’t battle in two races at the same time. So I will just do the maximum during the race and the only place to count points is behind the finish line in Central Park.”

Morocco’s Gharib, 38, is the reigning Olympic silver medalist and a two-time marathon world champion in 2003 and 2005. In addition to Gebremariam, other previously announced contenders in the men’s race include American Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 champrion, and fellow Americans Bobby Curtis and Ed Moran.

The ING New York City Marathon is part of the two-year World Marathon Majors racing series, along with London, Berlin, Boston and Chicago. The World Championships and Olympic races also count in years they are run. Runners collect points for top five finishes in each event. Mutai currently sits in first place for the 2010-2011 series. A win in New York could earn him the $500,000 Majors prize purse.

Karla Bruning is an award-winning journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

Karla Bruning

About 

Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

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09 2011