© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated
Canadians Lanni Marchant of London, Ontario and Natasha Wodak of Vancouver, BC are both competing the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon Sunday, March 15th.
Marchant is the Canadian marathon record holder with her personal best time of 2:28:00 from the 2013 Toronto Marathon, while Wodak owns the Canadian 8-kilometre record from 2013 where she won the Harrier’s Pioneer 8K in Victoria, BC in the time of 25:28.
The 30-year-old Marchant, who now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is a practicing lawyer, has run the half marathon distance as fast as 1:10:47, which is also the Canadian record for the distance. She accomplished the record in Nashville, TN in 2014. Her 10,000m personal best of 32:29.61 is the eighth fastest in Canadian history and happened during the 2014 Payton Jordan Invitational.
Wodak has been a cross-country juggernaut over the past few years winning the provincial, national and NACAC cross-country championships and competing at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She will once again compete at world cross March 28th in China.
Her road times are also fast, although she has had only one foray into the marathon, during the 2013 Toronto Waterfront event, she did debut at a respectable 2:35:16. Her half marathon best is a solid 1:12:23 from January 2015 – so clearly a fresh personal best, which is an excellent sign as Wodak did spend a considerable portion of 2014 battling plantar fasciitis. Her 10,000m best is 33:09.57 also from the 2013 Payton Jordan Invitational.
The New York event will feature three Kenyan women in Sally Kipyego, who is one of the world’s best distance runners and is fresh off an excellent performance this year where she ran a road 5K in the time of 15:48 at the NYRR Dash, coming back from injury. She is the defending champion and set a tough benchmark to repeat last year with her 1:08:47. Countrywomen, Joyce Chepkirui and Caroline Rotich, who own bests of 1:06:19 and 1:08:52, respectively are also in the race.
The only Ethiopian woman in the field is Buzunesh Deba. She is a New York resident who owns a personal best marathon time of 2:19:59. She owns a half marathon best of 1:08:59 from the same event last year.
The Americans have several top athletes competing including Molly Huddle with her best of 1:09:04, which was earned at this race last year while taking third spot. Desiree Linden has ran as fast as 1:10:34 and her marathon performances are very strong too, including a Boston finish in 2:22:38 in 2011 and a 2:23:54 during the 2014 edition of Boston. Annie Bersagel owns a best of 1:10:10 from the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Adriana Nelson owns a best of 1:09:57. Nelson is the elder of the group at the age of 25, however, in 2014 ran the Boston Marathon in 2:31:15 – not quite threatening the fastest women, but she does have veteran experience on her side.