NEW YORK -- The 2021 TCS New York City Marathon is only weeks away. The New York Road Runners announced the latest on the pro field in this press release.
Olympic medalist Molly Seidel will make her TCS New York City Marathon debut after winning bronze at the Tokyo Games, leading what will be the strongest field of American women in TCS New York City Marathon history at the event's 50th running on Sunday, November 7.
Joining Seidel in New York in the professional athlete field will be 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Aliphine Tuliamuk, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego, 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000 meters champion Emily Sisson, and 2018 Boston Marathon winner and two-time Olympian Des Linden.
In her third marathon ever, Seidel won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, hanging with the lead pack for the entire race to finish in 2:27:46 and become only the third American woman in history (Joan Benoit, 1984; Deena Kastor, 2004) to medal in the Olympic marathon. In her first career marathon - the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials - Seidel finished as the runner-up in 2:27:31, becoming the youngest American woman to make an Olympic marathon team since 1992. Later in 2020, she went on to finish sixth in her second career marathon in London in 2:25:13.
"Since the beginning of 2021, I've had two races circled on my calendar: The Olympic Games Marathon on August 7, and the TCS New York City Marathon on November 7," Seidel said. "Winning the bronze medal in Sapporo showed that I can run with the best in the world, and on any given day, anything is possible. I can't think of a better year to run my first New York than in its 50th running."
Tuliamuk won the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, finishing first in Atlanta in 2:27:23 to make her first Olympic team four years after gaining U.S. citizenship. Tuliamuk gave birth to her daughter in January 2021 and returned to training in time to compete in Tokyo, where she dropped out of the marathon near the 20km mark. This will be the third time she races the TCS New York City Marathon; she was 12th in 2019 (2:28:12) and 13th in 2017 (2:33:18).
"Winning the U.S. Olympic Trials and representing the United States in the Olympic Games earlier this month were dreams fulfilled," Tuliamuk said. "I want to inspire people, most importantly my daughter, to chase their dreams. I'm a different athlete and person than I was the last time I ran the TCS New York City Marathon in 2019, so why not fulfill one more dream on November 7?"
Kipyego, who won a silver medal in the 10,000 meters for Kenya at the London 2012 Olympics, represented the U.S. in Tokyo, finishing 17th in the marathon after placing third at the Trials. Kipyego was the runner-up at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, clocking in at 2:28:01 behind Mary Keitany; she later discovered she was four weeks pregnant at the time.
"I made my marathon debut at the TCS New York City Marathon, and I've been itching to get back to the race since my runner-up finish there in 2016," Kipyego said. "My life has changed a lot since then - I improved my marathon personal best, became a mother, and gained U.S. citizenship - but one thing that hasn't changed is my dream of reaching the top step of that podium in Central Park."
Sisson will make her TCS New York City Marathon debut after having made her Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer. In June, she won the 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, running a 31:03.82 in the blistering heat to break the 17-year-old Trials record of 31:09.65 set by Deena Kastor in 2004. Sisson has been very successful in her last three trips to New York, finishing as the runner-up at the United Airlines NYC Half twice and winning the USATF 5km Championships. She made her 26.2-mile debut at the 2019 London Marathon, finishing in sixth place in 2:23:08, the fastest-ever debut by an American.
"I've loved being a part of TCS New York City Marathon weekend at the Abbott Dash 5K and riding a lead vehicle in front of the race, and I'm excited to finally make my debut in the race after running it virtually last year," Sisson said. "Nothing beats racing in the Big Apple, and to do so alongside America's top women's distance runners will make it even more special."
Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon open division in 33 years in 2018 and is a two-time Olympian, finishing seventh at the Rio 2016 Olympic marathon. At the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, Linden was fourth in 2:29:03. To kick off 2021, she ran 2:59:54 in the 50K, a world best for the distance.
Also joining the field in the open division will be fifth and sixth-place U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials finishers Laura Thweatt and Stephanie Bruce, and eighth-place Trials finisher Kellyn Taylor.
Tatyana McFadden, a 17-time Paralympic medalist competing in five events at the Tokyo Paralympics later this month, will race for her record sixth TCS New York City Marathon title in the wheelchair division. McFadden won New York in 2010 and every year from 2013-2016, and her winning time of 1:43:04 in 2015 remains the course record.
"I am very excited about competing in New York since it's the final test this fall after Tokyo and all the other major marathons," McFadden said. "The 50th running will be about people coming together after a difficult year, and a celebration of our community."
Challenging McFadden will be seven-time Paralympic medalist Amanda McGrory, racing for her third title, and three-time Mastercard New York Mini 10K champion Susannah Scaroni, going for her first victory. Both McGrory and Scaroni will also be competing at the Tokyo Paralympics in multiple distances.
The 2021 TCS New York City Marathon women's professional athlete field is presented by Mastercard. The race will be televised live on Sunday, November 7, on WABC-TV Channel 7 in the New York tristate area, throughout the rest of the nation on ESPN2, and around the world by various international broadcasters.