© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated
On Sunday, November 2nd Wilson Kipsang will have extra motivation to perform well during the 2014 New York City Marathon. He not only wants to win the race, he also has the World Marathon Majors point total in his sights, which means one million dollars for the Kenyan. Additionally, he will seek the course record of 2:05:06, which is currently owned by countryman Geoffrey Mutai.
Mutai is also racing New York.
Mutai has run the second fastest time ever with his best of 2:03:02, which he ran during the 2011 B.A.A. Boston Marathon. The current Boston course is ineligible for records according to the International Association of Athletics Federation rules (IAAF), due to having a net drop greater than one metre per kilometre and being a point-to-point route.
Although his NY time (2:05:06) does not compare to those performances that are run on some of the flat, world–record friendly courses like Berlin and London, the performance does, as the course is rolling. The next fastest NY time is held by Emmanuel Mutai at 2:06:28. Both were run during the 2011 edition as was the third-fastest time by Ethiopian Tsegay Kebede with his 2:07:14.
Kebede is also in the race and has run under the 2:07 benchmark at least eight times including 2:04:38 two years ago in Chicago.
The World Marathon Majors point system includes six marathons from around the world as well as IAAF World Track and Field Championships marathon and the Olympic Games marathon. The top-five finishers in each race are awarded points. The races that are included in the WMM are Tokyo, London, Boston, Berlin, New York and Chicago. A male and female winner is declared annually and each wins that first place prize of one million dollars. To be eligible athletes must compete in one qualifying race per year over the two-year overlapping series. First place earns the athlete 25 points, where second, third, fourth and fifth go, 15, 10, 5 and 1 points, respectively.
Kipsang currently stands in third place with 51 points. If he wins and collects 25 points, he will be at 76, which will put him one point ahead of current leader, who is countryman Dennis Kimetto with 75. Kebede is currently in second with 55; Kebede should not be counted out and will likely help make NY more than a two-man race.
Should Kipsang win and run under 2:05:00, he will earn the WMM one million dollars, as well as $60,000 for finishing under 2:05:00 and $100,000 for the win.
Gebre Gebremariam is also in the race, he has run as fast as 2:04:15 during the 2011 Boston event. Olympic gold medallist from London 2012 Stephen Kiprotich will toe the line (Wilson won bronze) as will American favourite Meb Keflezighi.
Kipsang, who also goes by the name Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich, has run as fast as 2:03:23, which was the official world record until training partner Kimetto broke it in 2014 with his 2:02:57 – the first person to run under the 2:03 barrier. Both records were performed on the Berlin Marathon course.