Many of the world’s top wheelchair racers will be in the Big Apple this weekend to race in New York City Marathon.
The Marathon will take place on Sunday (6 November) and will feature this year’s Chicago Marathon winners, Australia’s Kurt Fearnley and the USA’s Tatyana McFadden.
Fearnley is competing in New York for the seventh time and is a four-time champion in the event. His winning time of 1:29:22 from 2006 still remains a course record.
His toughest challenges will come from 12-time Paralympic gold medalist Heinz Frei of Switzerland and the USA’s Josh George, who finished second and third in Chicago this year, respectively.
The “Silver Bullet,” Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, will race in the event for the first time since 2008, when he placed seventh. Hug has already won the Seoul Marathon this year.
Canada’s Josh Cassidy, who finished fourth in Chicago and won the Virgin London and Ottawa Marathons last year, will compete in New York for the sixth time.
Defending champion David Weir of Great Britain has elected to skip this year’s contest so he can focus his attention on taking care of his three-month old son and his preparations for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Meanwhile, McFadden’s toughest tests will come from teammate Amanda McGrory, Canada’s Diane Roy and Switzerland’s Edith Wolf-Hunkeler.
McFadden, a four-time Paralympic Games medallist, is the defending champion in the New York event, while McGrory won the race in 2006 and finished second in 2008 and 2010.
Wolf-Hunkeler, the reigning Paralympic Games Marathon champion, holds the current course record with a time of 1:52:38. She is a five-time champion in the event and is seeking her first title since returning from maternity leave in 2010.
Roy finished second at the Paris Marathon this year after finishing as runner-up at the Boston Marathon in 2009 and 2010.