Meseret Defar BupaAnnual rankings of the top distance runners in the world, the U.S. and Canada

By Ken Young

After a few years of placing just out of the money behind Vivian Cheruiyot, Meseret Defar returned to the top, dominating her signature distance of 5,000m. She lost at the distance only once, falling to the younger Dibaba, Genzebe, at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in May. But she won when it mattered, at the world championships in early August, and then, in the highly anticipated matchup with world champs 10,000m medalist Tirunesh Dibaba in Zurich on Aug. 29, which ended up the most competitive women’s race of the year. Both Defar and Dibaba ventured onto the roads once at the Bupa Great North Run half marathon, and both were beaten by this year’s top road racer, Priscah Jeptoo, who also won both the London and New York City marathons.

Runners of the Year — World Women

  1. Meseret Defar (ETH)
  2. Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)
  3. Priscah Jeptoo (KEN)
  4. Mercy Cherono (KEN)
  5. Gladys Cherono (KEN)
  6. Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat (KEN)
  7. Emily Chebet Muge (KEN)
  8. Lucy Wangui Kabuu (KEN
  9. Genzebe Dibaba Kenene (ETH)
  10. Florence Chebet Kiplagat (KEN)

Original article appeared in Running Times Magazine