Here’s Justin Lagats’ piece on th 2019 NYC Marathon. Justin Lagat is our RunBlogRun Senior writer, located in Kenya.
Geoffrey Kamworor remained calm and patient almost throughout the men’s race until they broke away with Albert Korir in the last stages of the marathon. As they approached the 39km point, Korir glanced back. It was an indication that perhaps he was mentally preparing himself to secure the second position and was just trying to stick with Kamworor to make sure he was safely well ahead of the runner behind them. He then allowed Kamworor to proceed to slowly open a gap ahead of him as he followed with occasional back glances.
Well ahead of the rest, Kamworor crossed the finish line in 2:08:13. He was followed by Albert Korir for the second place in 2:08:36, with Girma Gebre coming in for third place in 2:08:38.
In her first-ever marathon race, Joyciline Jepkosgei defeated Mary Keitany in the last few kilometers to win the women’s race in 2:22:38, narrowly missing the course record by seven seconds. Keitany came second in 2:23:32 with Ruti Aga settling in third place in 2:25:51.
Shura Kitata had surprised everyone in the men’s race by going out fast at the start and running a solo run by the second kilometer of the race.
As the rest of the men’s elite field caught up with Kitata for the first time at around the 5km point, Desiree Linden decided to also make a move in the women’s race after a group of about 11 women had crossed the 10km point. She appeared to be increasing the gap by surging whenever a bend obscured her from the chasing pack.
Four women; Keitany, Aga, Jepkosgei and Kiprop then caught up with Linden at around the 21km point. It had been a fast pace and Linden, ( 3 minutes faster than Keitany had soloed the half in 2018), soon became the victim of her own pace when she and Kiprop were dropped by the leading pack of three. Aga, Keitany, and Jepkosgei kept running, parallel to each other with none seeming to be taking advantage of the others as pacesetters.
Aga was dropped from the leading back at around 30km and the battle for the title appeared to be between Keitany and Jepkosgei. Jepkosgei broke Keitany, attempting to win her 5th NYC title in 7 attempts (she was second in those two attempts), with a gutty run over ther last 4 kilometers.
In the men’s race, it appeared as though Kitata was doing some kind of a fartlek, in which he would relax and let the group catch up with him, then sprint again for some unspecified time, perhaps depending on the topography of the course.
Brett Robinson of Australia broke away from the leaders at around the 22km point, but he was not able to create any big gap as the chasers closed it before the 25km point. Albert Korir took to the front at some point and the large pack in the men’s race was soon down to only five men at around the 30km point.
The size of the leading pack rapidly decreased from that point until it was just Kamworor and Korir at the lead. Kamworer had the field run running his race: letting the attrition do the work in the marathon, then running a 4:36 mile, followed by a 4:31 mile to break it open. Now, Geoffrey Kamworor has two first places, one second place and one third place. His smile, after the race, was glorious!