Boston winners seek New York crowns

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NEW YORK, November 4 – Reigning London Marathon champions Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany and reigning Boston Marathon champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel are among the favorites in Sunday’s New York Marathon.

The four Kenyans are among a world-class lineup for the 42nd edition of the famed race, which will see about 46,000 runners test themselves over 26.2 miles.

“We have a star-studded international field that brings together an incredible lineup of champions,” said race president Mary Wittenberg.

Geoffrey Mutai, 29, ran the fastest marathon time ever recorded to win this year’s Boston crown in two hours, three minutes and two seconds but the time is not recognized as a world record because of course issues.

Emmanuel Mutai, 27, was last year’s New York runner-up in 2:09:18 and set a course record of 2:04:40 in his London victory, which came after a runner-up effort last year.

Kilel, 30, won the Boston women’s title in a personal best 2:22:36, edging American Desiree Davila by two seconds. Kilel’s other marathon triumphs include last year in Frankfurt, Ljubljana in 2009, Taipei in 2008 and Nairobi in 2005.

Keitany, 29, third in last year’s New York Marathon in 2:29:01, set a personal best to win at London in 2:19:19 and set the world half-marathon record of 1:05:50 earlier this year.

Defending men’s champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia returns but 2010 women’s winner Edna Kiplagat of Kenya withdrew last month with a sore left knee suffered in an fall during her victory in August at the world championships.

The men’s lineup also features Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede, 2009 New York winner Meb Keflezighi of the United States and Olympians Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico and Jaouad Gharib of Morocco.

Kebede, 24, won a marathon bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He won the 2010 London crown, the 2008 Paris title and the 2008 and 2009 Fukuoka titles and brings a personal best of 3:05:18 into his New York debut.

The women’s field also includes New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, Russia’s Galina Bogomolova, Britain’s Jo Pavey and three-time US Olympian Jen Rhines.

Workers removed branches and trees across Central Park that had fallen into the marathon path as a result of a rare October snowstorm last weekend.

Chilean Edison Pena, who was among 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days last year before being rescued, will compete on Saturday after running last year with a sore knee.

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