Keitany for 3rd time, Ghirmay for 1st time
NEW YORK (USA, Nov 6): Mary Keitany became the first athlete to win the New York Marathon three years in succession since Grete Waitz in 1986 with a dominant victory in 2:24:26 ahead of Sally Kipyego (2:28:01) and debutante Molly Huddle (2:28:13). Keitany’s winning margin of 3:34 was also the largest since Waitz won by 4:28 in 1984. Keitany broke up the pack with a 5:06split for the tenth mile before breaking clear from Joyce Chepkirui in the 15th mile. Keitany brought Margaret Okayo’s long-standing course record of 2:22:31 into view with back-to-back mile splits of 5:06 and 5:08 through 18-miles before slowing in the last 10km. Keitany’s splits were 72:38/71:49. Chepkirui and Aselefech Mergia both paid for going with Keitany’s break in the first half as they faded back to fourth (2:29:08) and sixth (2:33:28) respectively. Buzunesh Deba was hospitalised midweek with food poisoning and was a noteworthy dropout around the 25km checkpoint. In the men’s race, world champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, 20, became the first runner to represent Eritrea to win a World Marathon Majors title. His time of 2:07:51 was just five seconds shy of his lifetime best and the fifth fastest time on this course. Kenya’s Lucas Rotich was second in 2:08:53 while 39-year-old Abdi Abdirahman came through late to claim third in 2:11:23 in his first marathon since April 2014. Reigning champion Stanley Biwott dropped out in the tenth mile with a calf injury, Dathan Ritzenhein dropped out in 19th mile with a heel injury while former two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa dropped out at the 35km checkpoint after losing two minutes on the leaders in the space of the preceding two miles.