The House of Run’s own Jason Halpin handicaps this year’s New York City Marathon field. Keep in mind, these odds are merely hypothetical and any money sent to the House of Run to place a bet will be seen as a donation. Thank you in advance.
Geoffrey Mutai- 5: 2
The 2011 Boston Marathon champion comes into this race as the strong favorite. Mutai is undefeated on the road this year at a variety of distances and his 2:03:02 in Boston is the fastest time ever run for a marathon. He is beatable though. In 2010, he finished runner-up to Patrick Makau twice, but considering Makau’s recent exploits those can certainly be considered a quality losses.
Emmanuel Mutai- 3: 1
Mutai was the runner-up last year in New York, but vaults into this spot by virtue of his 2:04:40 victory in London this year against a tough field.
Gebre Gebremariam- 4: 1
Gebremariam is the defending champion, but was 3rd to Geoffrey Mutai in Boston and did not finish at the World Championship two months ago (probably a smart decision if he wanted to contend in New York). He has never lost to Emmanuel Mutai, but also has never beaten Geoffrey Mutai.
Matthew Kisorio- 5:1
Last year, a marathon newcomer with a fast half-marathon time and a solid track background pulled off the upset over a veteran field (Gebremariam). This year, that role could be played by Kisorio whose 58:46 half-marathon in Philadelphia made him the third fastest person at that distance in history. He also is in rare company having actually beaten Geoffrey Mutai this year. That occurred at the World Cross Country Championships in March over 12km in a race where Kisorio finished 4th to Mutai’s 5th. The distance, terrain and pressure will be far different on Sunday, but Kisorio does have the greatest potential to surprise of anyone in the race.
Tsegaye Kebede- 5:1
His modest 5th place finish at this year’s London Marathon make these odds a bit higher than they probably should be. Kebede ran into a strong field that day and did not show the form that made him the champion the previous year (2:05:19) and runner-up to the late Sammy Wanjiru in the 2010 Chicago Marathon.
Meb Keflezighi- 40: 1
It is the New York City Marathon, so as a rule, an American must be included. Keflezighi is the biggest name of the Americans as a result of his silver medal from the 2004 Olympics and his New York City win in 2009. Since then, the stakes have risen and the times have dropped tremendously in the marathon and have left steady, 2:09 caliber athletes like Keflezighi on the outside at major marathons.
A few names to choose from here. Ethiopians Feyisa Lelisa and Bado Worku have run fast times and shown the capability to finish in the top 3 in a major marathon. Veteran Jaouad Gharib of Morocco has run 2:05:27 and was also the silver medalist at the 2008 Olympics. Tesfaye Girma of Ethiopia was 4th in New York City Half Marathon and resides in the Bronx.
Mary Keitany- 2:5
A well-deserved, enormous favorite to win on Sunday. She gained experience in her marathon debut in New York last year, finishing third, but since then has been on a tear. She set the world record in half-marathon and won the London Marathon in an impressive 2:19:19. Her best competition could come from the clock on Sunday if she tries to break the course record of 2:22:31.
Caroline Kilel: 3: 1
Kilel won the Boston Marathon this year in 2:22:36. The remarkable times that the men produced on that day didn’t materialize for the women and have also left Kilel a bit under the radar.
Inga Abitova- 8: 1
4th at this race last year and also has run 2:22:19. Has never won a major marathon, but is consistent enough to hang around if the pace is slow.
Kim Smith- 8: 1
Smith was leading this year’s Boston Marathon until she had problems with her foot and was forced to drop out. She was 5th last year in New York and tuned up for Sunday by winning the Philadelphia Half Marathon in September.
Americans Lauren Fleshman, Jen Rhines and Molly Pritz are also in this field. Kenyan Caroline Rotich, 8th last year, could be due for a breakout. Bronx resident Buzunesh Deba, 10th last year, will have the h