Here Are Some Top Pros Running the New York City Marathon

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Meb Keflezighi, of San Diego, California, runs for the finish line to place fourth in the men's professional division of the New York City Marathon in Central Park on November 2, 2014. Mike Segar/Reuters

Updated | Runners from around the country and the world mix with local residents each year in the TCS New York City Marathon, many of them aiming to reach personal goals or to raise money for charity.

There are also a number of professional athletes competing to win part of the total $705,000 in prize money available this year.

So who are these relative few notables racing the 26.2-mile route not just for glory but for money? (Hint: You'll be able to spot them easily along the course because their race bibs have their names instead of numbers shown on the front.) Here are some of them.

Wilson Kipsang

The 33-year-old Kenyan is the defending champion of the marathon and former world-record owner. Six times, he has broken 2 hours, 5 minutes for the marathon, the most in history. He is a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist who won the 2013–2014 World Marathon Majors title, meaning he had the best combined showing in six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

His personal best time is 2 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds, which he completed at the BMW Berlin Marathon in 2013. At the time, that was the world record.

Kipsang is a native of the Keiyo District in Kenya. He began his competitive running career for the Kenyan police. He works as a hotel owner.

Mary Keitany

The 33-year-old women's defending champion hails from Kenya. She won the race last year in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 7 seconds. She finished second at the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon, which she won in 2011 and 2012. She ran the latter race in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 37 seconds, which made her the second-fastest performer in history.

She won the 2011–2012 World Marathon Majors title.

Kurt Fearnley

The 34-year-old Australian wheelchair athlete is aiming for a repeat victory at the event this weekend. Between 2006 and 2009, he won four consecutive New York City Marathon titles, the most in history by a male wheelchair athlete.

He is a two-time Paralympic gold medalist who has won marathons at the IPC World Championships and in London, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seoul, Rome, Paris, Sydney and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Tatyana McFadden

The 26-year-old American professional wheelchair champion will compete for her third consecutive title.

In 2013, McFadden became the first and only athlete to win four of the world's major marathons in the same calendar year. She earned the titles in Boston, London, Chicago and New York, and repeated the feat in 2014. This year, she could do it again, having already won in Boston, London and Chicago.

The Clarksville, Maryland, resident earned a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games. She has 10 Paralympic Summer Games medals. Earlier this year, she set world records in the 400, 800, 1,500 and 5,000 meters.

Meb Keflezighi

The running icon in 2014 became the first American male to win the Boston Marathon since 1983. His win was emotional for the city, as it occurred a year after two bombs were set off near the finish line of the race on Boylston Street, killing three people and injuring 264 others.

He is a three-time Olympian who won the New York City Marathon in 2009. Last year, he placed fourth in the urban race.

The 40-year-old earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games and finished fourth in 2012. Deemed America's top marathoner—he became the face of Skechers—he is the only athlete in history to win the New York Marathon, Boston Marathon and an Olympic medal.

Keflezighi, of San Diego, California, has won more than 20 national championships in track and field, cross-country and road racing. He arrived on U.S. soil as a refugee from war-torn East Africa. He didn't run his first mile until he was in middle school.

He oversees the Maintaining Excellent Balance (MEB) Foundation, which is committed to promoting youth health, education and fitness.

Geoffrey Kamworor

The 22-year-old, who is from Kenya, made his debut at this distance at the 2012 Berlin Marathon, finishing third in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 12 seconds. He was the fastest half-marathoner in 2013, when he ran 13.1 miles in 58 minutes, 54 seconds.

He won the gold medal at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. He earned a silver medal at the 2015 World outdoor 10,000-meter race. 

Lelisa Desisa

The 25-year-old was the runner-up in the 2014 New York City Marathon. He is the only Ethiopian man to win two Boston Marathons, in 2013 and 2015.

He earned a silver medal at the 2013 IAAF World Marathon Championships and won the Dubai Marathon the same year. He placed second at the same marathon earlier this year.

Gebre Gebremariam

Also from Ethiopia, Gebremariam was the third-place finisher at least year's New York City Marathon. In his marathon debut in 2010, the 31-year-old won the event with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 14 seconds. He is a two-time Olympian and champion of the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country race. He finished third at both the 2011 and 2013 Boston Marathons.

Sally Kipyego

Making her marathon debut in New York City on Sunday, she is the 2011 World and 2012 Olympic 10,000-meter silver medalist from Kenya.

Last year, she was the fastest 10,000-meter runner in the world and won the NYC Half in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 31 seconds, a record for the event. While attending Texas Tech University, Kipyego won nine NCAA Division I titles. Those victories tied her for the most in history.

The 29-year-old lives and trains in Eugene, Oregon.

Laura Thweatt

The 26-year-old, of Boulder, Colorado, is considered the top American distance runner. She also is making her marathon debut this weekend.

She is the 2015 USA Cross Country champion and the 2013 and 2014 USA Club Cross Country individual champion. Last year, she made her debut in the half-marathon with a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 1 second. Also that year, she was the third-fastest 5,000-meter runner in the country.

Helah Kiprop

Kiprop, 30, of Kenya, is the 2015 IAAF World Marathon silver medalist. Earlier this year, she came in second place at the Tokyo Marathon. She won the 2014 Seoul Marathon and finished fourth at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, which is when she made her debut at the distance.

Caroline Rotich

She is the 2015 Boston Marathon champion, and she lives and trains in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The 31-year-old is the former event record holder and two-time champion of the NYC Half, in 2011 and 2013. She won the 2013 Volkswagen Prague Marathon.

Tigist Tufa

The 28-year-old Ethiopian is the 2015 London Marathon champion. Her win marked the first time an Ethiopian won the race since 2001.

Last year, she won both the Shanghai International Marathon and the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, and finished second at the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.

Josh George

The 31-year-old wheelchair athlete from Champaign, Illinois, was the 2014 NYC Half champion and second-place finisher at the 2015 NYC Half. He has won the Chicago Marathon four times, in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2014. Earlier this year, he won the London Marathon.

George was the 2012 Paralympic Games 800-meter bronze medalist. He won a gold medal at the 2013 IPC World Championships in the same distance.