Top Names Announced for 2023 New York City Marathon
New York Road Runners just announced some of the top professional women who will headline the 2023 New York City Marathon on November 5. The list includes defending champion Sharon Lokedi, reigning Boston Marathon and United Airlines NYC Half champion Hellen Obiri, Olympic gold medalist and 2021 New York City Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, and marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei. The full professional runner fields will be announced at a later date.
It’s the first time in the race’s history that a reigning New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon, and Olympic champion, as well as a world record holder, will line up against each other at the historic event. The four Kenyans have numerous top victories between them, making for an exciting lineup.
Last year was Lokedi’s marathon debut, and she became the eighth athlete to win the race in her first try at the distance, pulling away in the last three kilometres for a 2:23:23 finish. But since then, she’s barely raced. After her victory, she was sidelined for most of the year due to injury and was forced to withdraw from the Boston Marathon.
“Last year, I came into the TCS New York City Marathon with the goal of being in the thick of the race, and the result was better than I could have ever hoped for,” Lokedi said in a press release. “This year, I’m returning with a different mindset, hungry to defend my title and race against the fastest women in the world.”
Obiri also debuted in the marathon last year in New York, finishing sixth, then going on to win the Boston Marathon. She’s a two-time Olympic medalist and seven-time world championships medalist, and also holds the Kenyan record for 3,000 metres. “With a year of marathon experience now under my belt, a win in Boston, and my move to the U.S., I’m coming to New York this year with more confidence and in search of a title,” Obiri told NYRR.
In 2022, an injury kept Jepchirchir from defending her title, and she says the hope of winning again has been her main motivation as she trains for the fall. The 29-year-old is the only one out of these four headliners to have racked up gold medals at the New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon, and the Olympic marathon. She’s also a two-time world championship gold medalist in the half marathon, and her 2:22:39 win at the 2021 New York City Marathon was the third-fastest time in event history, just missing the event record by eight seconds.
“New York is an important step in defending my Olympic gold medal next summer in Paris,” she said, “and I will do my best to make my family and my country proud.”
For marathon world-record holder Kosgei, also 29, this will be her first stab at New York. She has five World Marathon Majors wins under her belt, as well as an Olympic silver medal. She set her world record in 2019, breaking Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old feat by 81 seconds with a 2:14:04 win at the Chicago Marathon.
Kosgei is confident about her debut this fall. “I am not worried about the course, as I have had success in hilly marathons before, but New York has always been about head-to-head competition, and I know I must be in the best possible shape to compete with the other women in the race,” she said.