Two top contenders, Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands and Patrick Makau of Kenya, have been forced to pull out of next week’s NYC Half-Marathon with leg injuries, it was announced on Tuesday by New York Road Runners officials.
American stars Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor, along with defending champions Catherine Ndereba of Kenya and Tadese Tola of Ethiopia, lead the field for the fourth annual 13.1-mile race that features a course through Times Square in the heart of Manhattan on Sunday, August 16.
Kiplagat, 35, the half-marathon world record-holder, has not raced since March due to a knee injury that has kept her from returning to full strength.
“We did a test over the weekend to see her fitness level, but she will unfortunately not be ready in time for the NYC Half-Marathon,” said her husband and manager, Pieter Langerhorst, in an e-mail sent to NYRR officials.
“We don’t want to take any risk.” Makau, 24, last year’s second-place finisher at the NYC Half-Marathon, pulled out with minor patella tendonitis of his right knee, according to his manager, Derek Froude.
“As much as Patrick loves to compete in New York and was looking forward to improving over his finish in last year’s NYC Half-Marathon, he feels that he has lost his competitive edge and would not be able to perform at his best next week,” Froude said in an e-mail sent to NYRR officials.