Bekele and Jepchirchir, favorites in the return of the New York Marathon

Ethiopian athlete Kenenisa Bekele. File photo EFE / EPA / HAYOUNG JEON

New York, Nov 6 (EFE) .- Ethiopian athlete Kenenisa Bekele and Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir start as favorites in the return of the New York Marathon, which this Sunday will celebrate its 50th edition after a two-year break with much more participation reduced.
Kenenisa Bekele, an Olympic medalist and the second fastest marathon runner in history at age 39, leads the men’s category in his debut in the Big Apple, followed by Somali-Dutch Abdi Nageeye and Eritrean Ghirmay Ghebreslassie.
Among the women, the bets go to Peres Jepchirchir, 28, winner of the last edition and who won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, followed by Ethiopians Ruti Aga and Ababel Yeshaneh.
In the wheelchair category, the winners are Marcel Hug and Manuela Schär, the Swiss winners.
However, there are absences such as the 2019 men’s champion, the Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, who has suffered injuries in recent months, or his compatriot Mary Keitany, winner of the 7 great world marathons, who retired this summer.
The event, organized by New York Road Runners (NYRR), will bring together some 33,000 runners this year, almost half the usual amount, due to travel restrictions to the United States that are still in place and other factors related to the pandemic. .
To avoid crowds, the runners will be divided into more batches at the time of beginning the journey of about 42 kilometers that goes from Staten Island to Central Park, and they will be allowed to carry water, so that groups do not form near the sources to along the way.
To mark the anniversary of the race, the organization has decided to honor in its “hall of fame” this year the most iconic runners of each decade, including Gary Muhrcke, the New York firefighter who won the first race in 1970. .
That year, the Marathon took place in Central Park with about 120 registered runners, while today, extended to the five boroughs of the city, it is one of the most populous events of its kind in the world and usually calls about 55,000 to jog. persons.
In addition, the NYRR has announced that it will recognize current world record holder Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge for his contributions to long-distance athletics, who achieved the 2:01:39 mark in the 2018 Berlin Marathon.
Among the celebrities who join the New York event each year, it is planned to run the supermodel Christy Turlington, Marcus Mumford, member of the music band Mumford & Sons, the Olympic footballer Abby Wambach or the famous chef Daniel Humm.

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