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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid