NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The TCS New York City Marathon will draw 50,000 runners to the streets of the Big Apple on Sunday.
Among them, a New Yorker who has come close to winning the race more than once.
If her dream comes true this year, she’ll be the first New Yorker to win the race in more than four decades.
As CBS2’s Emily Smith reported, when Buzunesh Deba laces up for the marathon, she’ll be on familiar ground.
“New York marathon is important for me because it’s my place, my city, my home,” she said.
Originally from Ethiopia, Deba moved to New York as a teenager and blossomed into one of the world’s top marathoners while training in Van Cortlandt Park, not far from her Bronx apartment.
While many top runners like to train at high altitudes, Deba is happy running at home alongside the casual joggers who sometimes stop her for pictures.
“So cool having someone, an elite that is so accomplished, training right here in New York City, and right here for the public to view,” said one resident.
A true New Yorker, Deba often takes the subway to her track workouts. She also sometimes runs the 31-mile circumference of Manhattan, Smith reported.
And you can track Deba — or any runner competing — as she races for the win using the marathon app, which is free in the iTunes store.
The 28-year-old has several marathon wins under her belt, including Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, San Diego, and the California International.
She has placed second in New York City in 2011 and 2013, but a win in the Big Apple has been elusive in her last six attempts.
Deba said the support of her fellow New Yorkers gives her a boost.