FLAGSTAFF, (AZ) – August 28, 2017 – HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite athletes Stephanie Bruce and Kellyn Taylor will be part of a stellar field at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, the New York Road Runners announced today. Taylor owns a personal best of 2:28:40 and is coming off a 13th place finish at the 2017 Virgin London Marathon. Bruce has run 2:29:35 and finished second at last year’s California International Marathon in her first attempt at the distance since taking a break in her career to have two children. This will be the the first New York City Marathon for both women.
Bruce and Taylor will face a field of top Americans including four-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan as well as road racing stars Neeley Gracey and Aliphine Tuliamuk. Kenya’s Mary Keitany, coming off a blistering 2:17:01 at the London Marathon in April, will be back to defend her New York City title with the full international field yet to be released.
Bruce, who was born in New York and lived at the Plaza Hotel for the first week of her life, said she feels like a New Yorker at heart.
“I have raced in many of the New York Road Runners events and they are always top notch,” Bruce said. “It feels like I’m racing in my hometown.”
Bruce is indeed no stranger to New York. Her half marathon personal best of 1:10:53 was set at the 2013 New York City Half Marathon. She went on to finish fifth that same year at the New York Mini 10k in Central Park. This past November she was third at the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5k, the day before the Marathon. The Mini and the Dash to the Finish share a finish line with the Marathon so Bruce will have plenty of mental ammunition for the last 400 meters in November.
While Taylor may not have the New York City experience, she certainly has built up a laundry list of credentials over the past three years. Her debut marathon came in January of 2015 at the Chevron Houston Marathon where she ran 2:28:40, tied for the sixth-fastest U.S. debut for a female at the time. In 2016 she finished sixth at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in February and fourth at the U.S. Track and Field Trials in July over 10,000 meters. In 2017 she was third at the USATF Cross Country Championships before running 2:28:51 at the London Marathon.
Forced to withdraw from last year’s New York City Marathon, Taylor said that she feels especially fortunate to be invited back in 2017.
“I can’t wait to toe the line with some of the world’s best in one of the greatest cities in the world,” Taylor said. “Adding to that excitement is knowing that I’ll have company throughout the buildup with Steph running as well.”
HOKA NAZ Elite coach Ben Rosario said having Bruce and Taylor run the same marathon has been a goal since the NAZ Elite team was founded in 2014.
“For a variety of reasons the timing hasn’t worked out until now for Steph and Kellyn to line up together,” Rosario said. “But having two athletes of this caliber train side-by-side for 10 weeks is a huge advantage for both of them and we believe it will produce awesome results in November.”
The TCS New York City Marathon will take place on November 5. For more information visit www.nyrr.org.
About Northern Arizona Elite
Northern Arizona Elite is a professional sports team whose mission is to recruit, develop and produce distance runners to compete at the very highest level of international athletics. The team aims to create an interactive global fan base for itself and its athletes through comprehensive and ongoing marketing efforts on a local, national and international level. For more information visit www.nazelite.com or follow @NAZ_Elite.
About the HOKA ONE ONE® brand
HOKA ONE ONE® is the fastest growing, premium running shoe brand in the world. Two life-long runners launched HOKA in 2009, after years spent handcrafting and shaping lightweight shoes with extra-thick midsoles. Initially embraced by ultrarunners because of their enhanced cushioning and inherent stability, HOKA now offers shoes for all types of athletes who enjoy the unique ride the shoes provide. For more information visit www.hokaoneone.com or follow @hokaoneone #hokaoneone.
About Deckers Brands
Deckers Brands is a global leader in designing, marketing and distributing innovative footwear, apparel and accessories developed for both everyday casual lifestyle use and high performance activities. The Company’s portfolio of brands includes UGG®, Teva®, Sanuk®, Ahnu®, and HOKA ONE ONE®. Deckers Brands products are sold in more than 50 countries and territories through select department and specialty stores, 142 Company-owned and operated retail stores, and select online stores, including Company-owned websites. Deckers Brands has a 40-year history of building niche footwear brands into lifestyle market leaders attracting millions of loyal consumers globally. For more information, please visit www.deckers.com.