Here are my picks for the elite women's field. I don't think there will be a course record. Right now, it's looking too warm (but fortunately not hot).
1. Rita Jeptoo (a lot of depth of experience, featured in a book I read last year about running with the Kenyans)
2. Desiree Davila (one of my American faves, I’ve run the same marathon as her twice (Boston in 2011 where she was 2d and I was 30,002d or so, and Berlin 2013, where she came in 5th, I was about 25,005th))
3. Sharon Cherop (as with Desi, we’ve run two races together, Boston and Berlin, she also beat me both times; trains in Iten, which I’ve read about)
4. Caroline Kilel (Kenyan with a lot of depth, marathons since 2003!, barely beat Desi in Boston 2011 (2 seconds)).
5. Shalane Flanagan (just because I should have another American to cheer for)
Why didn’t I pick Mare Dibaba? She might surprise me, but two marathons for an elite in 4 months seems tough. She has the fastest qualifying time of all the elite women, so obviously she has a good chance of winning.
In general, I'm rooting for the Kenyans, but any amazing performance by anyone is reason to cheer and be excited. I just love good running! (It's a shame I don't seem to be doing any of it myself lately, just poking along, feeling unmotivated and slow (and just to be absolutely clear, even when I'm rocking it and feeling fast, I can't do a single mile at marathon pace for these women, which is about 5:20/mile; just to be even clearer, I can't run an 800 at their marathon pace either).)
Man, I can't wait to watch it all unfold on Monday. No secret who my number 1 choice is on the men's side, but I'll have to post about that later.