AlertEarn your +1 before time runs out! Ensure your entry into the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon by volunteering now.

Pro Athletes Faced Marathon Just to Get to NYC

November 01, 2012 at 4:15pm EST | by Barbara Huebner, NYRR News Service

Five top Kenyan athletes—all among the favorites to win Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon—were at the airport in Nairobi on Tuesday night when they were told there was a problem.

Because their connecting flight from London to New York City had already been canceled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they were not allowed to board their plane.

This was a situation they weren’t going to outrun. Time for an end-around.

Moses Mosop, Wilson Kipsang, Stanley Biwott, Sharon Cherop, and Edna Kiplagat somehow discovered that if they could secure continuing tickets to another destination, they would be allowed on the plane. With the help of Mosop’s manager, Valentijn Trouw, in the Netherlands, they scurried to secure tickets on a flight from London to Boston.

There, at 2:50 p.m. on Wednesday, a New York Road Runners car and driver awaited them for the four-hour journey to New York. They arrived at 9:00 p.m.

Quick thinking, creative solutions, and a whole lot of patience have turned out to be a key part of every pro athlete’s taper for the final World Marathon Majors event of the season.

Valeria Straneo of Italy flew from Milan to London, spent a night there, and then flew to Toronto, where she has spent at least one more night while awaiting a flight. Kayoko Fukushi of Japan at first had her flight rebooked for Sunday—the day of the race; she is now expected to arrive on Thursday after being re-booked to San Francisco and cooling her heels for two nights in Palo Alto. Janet Bawcom, a top U.S. athlete training in Flagstaff, AZ, tweeted on Tuesday: “Cancelled, rebooked, cancelled, rebooked, almost cancelled, almost rebooked. Whew! And that only gets us to Philly!!!” Molly Pritz just up and drove from Detroit on Sunday to beat the whole storm.

And then there was Buzunesh Deba, an Ethiopian living in the Bronx who needed 2.5 hours on Wednesday morning to travel by car 140 blocks to the Hilton Hotel and Towers. The runner-up in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon, she could have run in half the time.

But none of the athletes was complaining. Far from it.

“I know this time has had so much difficulties here,” said Cherop at a press event on Thursday.  “I am sorry for the people of New York for their difficulties.”

Photo of Wilson Kipsang, by PhotoRun/NYRR

 

Media Center Log-in

Forgot password?
Register for Media Center

Forgot Password

Enter your registered email address to receive a link to change password.
@nyrr
Today

2014 #TCSNYCMarathon is in 1 month! Celebrate by entering for a chance to win entry in 2015. http://t.co/klefwTUk21 http://t.co/h7IQne0gum

@nyrr
Today

#TCSNYCMarathon story "My son said 'Mom, you’ve got to change your life or you’re going to die' so I took up running" http://t.co/fjvBx4mJCQ

@nyrr
01 Oct

#NYCHalf fans: race opens Oct 12; '15 race date is March 15 (subject to change). More details coming soon! #nyrr http://t.co/HgIGRa084S

@nyrr
01 Oct

Fall is for XC & this weekend there's 2 great XC races w/ spots avail! http://t.co/cCMxGAsABP http://t.co/21e64CJxWm http://t.co/iztTvEroP1