2017 winners return to NYC to defend marathon titles
All four winners of the 2017 NYC Marathon return to defend their titles on Sunday.
American Shalane Flanagan and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor will try to repeat, along with the Swiss pair of Manuela Schar and Marcel Hug in the wheelchair division.
“To be coming back as the defending champion, it’s quite an honor and literally a dream come true,” said Flanagan, the first U.S. woman to win the NYC Marathon since Miki Gorman in 1977.
Flanagan won in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 53 seconds, beating Mary Keitany of Kenya.
The 37-year-old Flanagan says she’s “definitely noticed my age a little bit more” and takes the necessary recovery days. “But there’s a great country song I’ve been kind of chanting to myself. ‘I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.’ ”
It’s definitely difficult to repeat as the NYC Marathon champion.
“It happens, but I think the pressure is hard and the expectations going into training – you’re trying to do things better and faster,” said American Deena Kastor, who won the 2005 Chicago Marathon and 2006 London Marathon.
Grete Waitz won nine times in New York, including back-to-back runs from 1978-80 and 198286 before her final victory in 1988.
Desiree Linden looks to follow up her Boston Marathon title – the first American woman to break the tape since 1985 – with a win on Sunday. She finished fifth here in 2014.
“Putting in more miles per week than selfies taken, it’s a nice feeling to be back to the grind and just focusing on running,” Linden said. “The training has been really challenging, hopefully it will take me to a new level.”
Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor will return Sunday to defend his New York City Marathon crown.
Shalane Flanagan, who became the first U.S. woman to win the NYC Marathon since 1977, will defend her title.