It was a perfect day for running in New York, and great conditions for the over 50,000 athletes that competed in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon. Last year runners were slowed by cold and wind, but the weather was ideal for Sunday.
It started early with the wheelchair division, which was all about Tatyana McFadden. The Russian-born American won her third consecutive NYC Marathon and destroyed the course record, breaking it by almost seven minutes. Her, along with the men’s winner, South African Ernst Van Dyk, continued their run as the world’s dominant wheelchair athletes.
The women’s division stayed tight throughout, as it was one of the most talented fields in history. The pack was led for the first half by Portugal’s Sara Moreira, who finished third in 2014. 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. Keitany then took over, and distanced herself from 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.
On the men’s side, runners stayed close for the first half of the race. American Meb Keflezighi headed the pack for the early stages, but was accompanied closely by the rest of the runners. Americans had a strong showing in the first half of the race, with Keflezighi and Oregon native Craig Leon setting the pace. 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.