This year’s New York City Marathon had two major themes: Wind and Close Finishes
The Men’s Race
For more than half the race, there was a large pack of nearly a dozen runners. However, as the race progressed, Wilson Kipsang put in some surges that dropped everyone but Lelisa Desisa. Kipsang, the former world record holder, could not seem to shake him.
After heading through Columbus Circle, the two were side-by-side. Kipsang, normally a very relaxed runner, looked visibly concerned. As the two approached the finish, Desisa surged and went by, just for a second. As he passed Kipsang, there may have been a bump.. a nudge.. an errant elbow.. whatever you want to call it.
Kipsang gave Desisa a look – and at that moment, you knew the race was over.
He put in one final surge that left no doubt about the outcome. Kipsang took the win, as well as the World Marathon Majors title, which sent $500,000 his way.
Meb, always the race tactician, ran brilliantly from start to finish. In one of the better race fields ever assembled, Meb took fourth and finished with some enthusiasm, as he realized he can still go toe-to-toe with the best in the world.
In one of my favorite race pictures ever, Gebre Gebremariam (3rd overall) stepped onto the course to high five Meb as he cruised to the finish. The camaraderie amongst the athletes was something to behold. While each wanted to win, they all seemed sincerely happy with the accomplishments of their competitors. It was a great moment for the sport of running.
The Women’s Race
The women’s race unfolded much the same as the men’s race. A large pack early on was led by Sara Moreira, a marathon rookie. However, when the break was made, it was Mary Keitany and Jemima Sumgong. This one came down to the wire, with Keitany taking the win by three seconds.
An ecstatic Sara Moreira hung on for third place.
Desi Linden was the top American woman. She finished fifth in 2:28:11.
Nick Arciniaga finished 10th overall in 2:15:39. Apparently, he doesn’t watch The Office.
Caroline Wozniacki ran 3:26:33 (BQ) in her marathon debut.
Katherine Slingluff (Brooklyn) was the 1,000,000th finisher (all-time) of the NYC Marathon.
Billy Demong, the American Nordic combined skier and Olympic gold medalist, ran 2:33:05 in his marathon debut – holy sh*t!
Ultra-stud Alex Varner, 7th at Western States this year, ran 2:25:45 and finished 26th overall.
Stephan Shay, running in the NYC Marathon for the first time since his brother passed away, finished in 2:19:47, which was good for 16th place. For more on that story, click here.
“With about two miles left in Sunday’s race, Stephan came barreling down a hill in Central Park and past the spot where Ryan had fallen, a beautiful corner of the park under trees not far from the Central Park Boathouse. About 100 yards away is a bench dedicated to Ryan. On that bench are his words: ‘It is necessary to dig deep within oneself to discover the hidden grain of steel called will.'” (excerpt from “A Brother Runs Past His Sorrow” linked above)
Full results of the NYC Marathon are available here.