Lelisa Desisa is man who is focused on the marathon.
In fourteen marathon starts, Lelisa has been on the podium ten times. Desisa has won Boston twice, yet, had not won in New York. The man had come close.
In 2018, just after 23 miles, Shura Kutata falls back and Lelisa Desisa is leading, with Geoffrey Kamworor in tow. Kamworor had won NYC last year, and he looked ominous. Desisa and Kamworor were battling together for two miles. Just about 40k, Desisa sprinted away, hands held high, arms pumping, like a high schooler racing the 100 meters.
We expected Kamworor to pull Desisa back, but, he was not! Kamworor, we would find out later, had back pain as he battled Desisa through Central Park. Desisa sensed the break and took off!
Then, Shura Kitata woke up and went by Geoffrery Kamworor, and pushed up to Lelisa Desisa. Desisa sensed Kitata coming and somehow, held him off! There was only two seconds separating Desisa and Kitata at the finish as Lelisa Desisa took the win in 2:05:59, the second fastest time in NYC history!
Here’s my update on the race, done just after the elite finish, before my update for BBC radio.