The TCS New York City Marathon was a rousing success today, as over 50,000 runners crossed the finish line in Central Park. For some, the marathon is more than about accomplishment and raising money for a good cause. The even is also an important leg of the World Marathon Majors, the premier long-distance running competition in the world. Over $700,000 in prize money is awarded, both to event winners and those who hit timed milestones.
The first group of athletes released were those in the Wheelchair Division. The first man across the finish line was Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa, his second NYC win in his career. The women’s winner was Tatyana McFadden. The Russian-born American was never racing her competitors, only history. She shattered the course record by almost seven minutes on her way to victory, and completing her third career Marathon Grand Slam.
The women’s race started first, with one of the most talented fields in the history of the event. Sara Moreira of Porutgal held the early lead, and set the pace for the first seven miles. She continued to set the pace into mile 16, but was closely followed by reigning champ Mary Keitany and first-time marathoner Sally Kipyego. At mile 19, Keitany made her move, surging to the front of a pack that also included Prisca Jeptoo and Mestawet Tufa. After 20 miles, it came down to just Keitany and Tufa, who is also running her first NYC Marathon. Then Keitany exploded, blowing away the rest of the field. She was all alone when she crossed the finish line, and became the first woman to win back-to-back NYC Marathons since Paula Radcliffe accomplished the feat in 2007-2008.
The men set a strong pace early, led by American Med Keflezighi. The pack grouped tightly early, and was content with running close for the early stretch of the race. After around 12 miles a close group of six men, including Keflezighi, separated themselves from the pack. American Craig Leon was setting the pace after 15 miles, but the pace was a slow one, indicating that the pack had yet to make their move.
After mile 20, the men began to separate. At the front was 2014 winner Wilson Kipsang, who was joined by Kenyans Geoffrey Kamworor and Stanley Biwott, as well as 2015 Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa. Kipsang fell off quickly, and the three remaining men raced through Harlem towards the finish.
Biwott made his move in Central Park, and the three man began to separate down the stretch. Biwott continued his pace, and crossed the finish for his first Major Marathon victory.
Here’s all the winners from Sunday:
Mens: Ernst Van Dyk (South Africa)
Womens: Tatyana McFadden (USA)
Elite Women: Mary Keitany (Kenya)
Elite Men: Stanley Biwott (Kenya)