© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

The New York City Marathon always attracts a top-shelf field and the 2023 race will be no different. In fact, the women’s field looks like one of, if not, the most competitive. Let’s go one further and suggest the Kenyans alone make the elite field one of the best all time.

For starters, defending champion Sharon Lokedi will be toeing the line on November 5th. She will be joined by reigning Boston Marathon and NYC half-marathon champion Hellen Obiri. Also in the field is Olympic gold medalist and 2021 New York City Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, and marathon world-record holder Brigid Kosgei.

A press release from the event read, “When the four Kenyans line up in New York, it will be the first time in event history the reigning New York City Marathon champion, Boston Marathon champion, Olympic champion, and world-record holder line up against each other in the New York City Marathon.”

Sharon Lokedi

Sharon Lokedi won the 2022 New York Marathon during her debut. She pulled away over the final three kilometres to finish in 2:23:23. In so doing she became the eighth athlete to win the race while racing in their debut. In preparation for the marathon, Lokedi raced the NYC Half and the New York Mini 10K. She finished fourth and second, respectively and recorded five new personal bests in 2022.

“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. “This year, I’m returning with a different mindset, hungry to defend my title and race against the fastest women in the world.”

Hellen Obiri

Hellen Obiri is a two-time Olympic silver and two-time World Championships gold medallist in the 5000m distance. The 33-year-old is also a seven-time world championship medallist. She won the 2023 Boston Marathon during her second-ever attempt at the distance. In addition, she won the NYC Half in her debut. Obiri holds the Kenyan record for 3000 metres both indoors and outdoors. During her marathon debut last year in New York, she finished sixth. Obiri is a 17-time Diamond League winner.

“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 said. “I’m excited to show the people of New York what I’m capable of and that my win at the NYC Half in March was just the beginning.”

Peres Jepchirchir

Peres Jepchirchir is the only athlete to have won the Olympic, New York City, and Boston Marathons. She is also a two-time world championship gold medallist in the half marathon. In 2021, she won the Tokyo Olympic Marathon to claim Kenya’s second consecutive gold medal in the event. Four months later, she won the New York City Marathon. In that performance she clocked a time of 2:22:39, which is the third-fastest time in event history and eight seconds off the event record. In April 2022, in a back-and-forth race that came down to the final two kilometres, she fended off Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh to take the Boston Maraton title. This was her debut recording an impressive 2:21:02. This April, she recorded another podium finish, taking third at the London Marathon.

“I was so disappointed that I couldn’t defend my title in New York last year due to an injury, and winning again in Central Park has been my main motivation as I begin my preparations for the autumn,” Jepchirchir said. “New York is an important step in defending my Olympic gold medal next summer in Paris, and I will do my best to make my family and my country proud.”

Brigid Koskei

Brigid Kosgei is the world record holder in the marathon with her 2019 Chicago performance of 2:14:04. It was in Chicago, where she broke Paula Radcliffe’s record of 2:15:25. The 29-year-old won the Tokyo Olympic silver medal behind Jepchirchir and in the heat. She will make her New York City Marathon debut this November. Additionally, she won back-to-back London Marathons in 2019 and 2020, and the Tokyo Marathon in 2022.

“I am very excited to make my New York City debut this fall, and attempt to win my fourth different [Abbott Marathon] Major,” Kosgei said. “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.”

The 2023 TCS New York City Marathon will run on Sunday, Nov. 5. The race is expected to have 50,000 runners and be televised live on WABC-TV Channel 7 in the New York tri-state area. Throughout the rest of the nation on ESPN2, and around the world by various international broadcasters.

The New York City Marathon will surely continue to garner other international stars of the sport. Additionally, the men’s field may turn out to be just as competitive. Run since 1970, the course records are held by Kenyans with Geoffrey Mutai 2:05:06 from 2011. Margaret Okayo clocked 2:22:31 in 2003.