News / USA

48,000 to Race in NYC Marathon

  • Women's winner Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya, center, second place finisher Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia, left, and third place finisher Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia pose with their medals after the New York City Marathon,  Nov. 3, 2013.
  • Women's wheelchair winner Tatyana McFadden of Maryland, left, and men's wheelchair winner Marcel Hug of Switzerland pose for photographers after winning their divisions in the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013, in New York.
  • Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya runs in the New York City Marathon in New York, Nov. 3, 2013. Defending champion Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo won the men's and women's races at the New York City Marathon on Sunday for a Kenyan sweep.
  • Runners, including a man wearing a Captain America costume, react as they cross the finish line after completing the New York City marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
  • Women's winner Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya reacts with members of her team after coming in first in the women's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013, in New York. 
  • Women's wheelchair winner Tatyana McFadden of the United States breaks the tape to win the women's wheelchair division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
  • Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya celebrates his first place win in the men's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013. 
  • Marathon and government officials take part in the ceremonial painting of the New York City Marathon blue line at Central Park, New York, Oct., 2013. 
  • Workers install a platform after the ceremonial painting of the New York City Marathon blue line at Central Park, New York, Oct. 30, 2013. 
  • New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg speaks to reporters during a news conference at the finish line of the NYC Marathon in New York, Oct. 30, 2013. 
  • Workers install a platform during the ceremonial painting of the New York City Marathon blue line at Central Park, New York, Oct. 30, 2013.
Preparing for the NYC Marathon
Carolyn Weaver
This year’s New York City Marathon will have reminders of Superstorm Sandy, which forced its cancellation last year, and of the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April. Runners affected by both calamities will be among the 48,000 racing along the winding, 42-kilometer route that touches every New York City borough. Security will be beefed up as well, with thousands of police stationed along the route, backpacks and some other items prohibited, and restricted entry for blocks around the finish line.
 
Among the runners will be 19,000 international competitors from all over the world, including a few who will stay with Bill Staab, president of the West Side Runners Club in Manhattan. At 74, Staab no longer enters marathons himself – although he says he ran 28 in his time. These days, retired from his import-export business, he dedicates much of his time to working with foreign-born members of the club and with runners visiting from abroad.
 
The face of running in New York is changing, Staab said, as immigrant and working-class runners take up the sport. Some years ago, his club began to attract South and Central American immigrants, many of whom work low-wage jobs and train and compete in their few spare hours.
 
“There is a mixture of motivations, for those runners from Latin America,” Staab said. “They often started running through soccer, and when they wanted to develop their stamina, they started running longer distances and found that they were really very, very good. And some of them dropped soccer all together, and began to run in races. Sometimes it’s just for the honor of doing well, sometimes it’s when the race does have some prize money.”
 
Later, he said, “More Africans began to come here, of even a higher quality, and these runners consider themselves to be professional, and they basically train and run races in order to earn an income when possible. So, New York is a mosaic in the races of a huge mixture of abilities, economic levels, colors; it’s absolutely fabulous,” Staab said.
 
Staab has hosted international marathon runners for many years at his two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. This year, for the New York City Marathon, eight or nine Ethiopians will be staying for several days. Everyone helps cook Ethiopian food or pasta, and he said it never seems too crowded.
 
Bill Staab in his New York apartment with some Ethiopian visitors.Bill Staab in his New York apartment with some Ethiopian visitors.
x
Bill Staab in his New York apartment with some Ethiopian visitors.
Bill Staab in his New York apartment with some Ethiopian visitors.
“You know, these are very quiet people, and they’re small, and good sleepers,” he said. “If you train very hard, you get exhausted, and you just knock out and sleep.”
 
Staab said there is a good chance this year of a New Yorker crossing the finish line first. If it happens, it would be the first time a local has won in 39 years. Staab’s hopes for a local winner are pinned on Buzunesh Deba, a member of West Side Runners, who was born in Ethiopia and has lived in New York for five years. Deba ran the 2011 New York race in two hours, 23 minutes and 15 seconds -- losing the women’s event by just four seconds.
 
“Her chances are probably as good as any other elite runner's, maybe better,” Staab said. “But there is very strong competition, both from other international runners who have been invited in specifically for the race, and Americans who are living in the U.S. coming in from California and other such places… So we just wish her all the luck in the world, and hopefully she can win, and if she doesn’t, hopefully she can have a very good time.”
 
The runner who beat Deba in 2011, her friend and fellow Ethiopian, Firehitwot Dado, is competing again in this year’s race, as are the two top favorites, Kenyans Edna Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo. Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, who won in 2011, and Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede are favored in the men’s event.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs