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Hellen Obiri And Tamirat Tola Win Elite Women’s And Men’s Races


Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola broke the course record to win the men’s race, while three runners battled it out for first place in the women’s race in the TCS New York City Marathon. The winner was Kenyan Hellen Obiri.

Previously, Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner broke records to win their respective wheelchair races.

The 52nd annual event took place on Sunday, with thousands of athletes—both professionals and amateurs—navigating a 26.2-mile course through the five boroughs while thousands of spectators watched from the sidelines.

Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola won the men’s elite race by having the final mile all to himself. Tola beat Geoffrey Mutai’s 2011 course record of 2:05.06 with a time of 2:04:59.

At mile 20, Tola started to distance himself from fellow countryman Jemel Yimer as they headed into the Bronx. After walking back into Manhattan, he had gained 19 seconds and was closing in on Mutai’s record.

“The people of New York is amazing to give me moral support every kilometer,” Tola said. “I’m happy for them. Thank you all people. It’s a long kilometers to do alone. … I’m not thinking about a lot. I’m thinking to win. So this is nice.”

With a time of 2:12:09, Futsum Zienasellassie emerged as the top American male winner, finishing just 14 seconds ahead of Elkanah Kibet.

In a three-way sprint to the finish, Kenyan Hellen Obiri emerged victorious in the elite women’s race. Running together, Obiri, Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, and the reigning champion Sharon Lokedi were trading leads. As the group returned to Central Park for the last half-mile, Obiri moved.

Obiri made the crossing in 2:27:23. Gidey lagged behind by six seconds.

“My first debut here was terrible for me, and I say like I don’t want to come back here next year,” Obiri said. “After that, I said, wow, I’m here again. So you know sometimes you learn from your mistakes, so I did a lot of mistakes last year, so I said I want to try to do my best.”

Kellyn Taylor, who finished first among Americans, did so in 2:29:48.

With a strong women’s field, it was anticipated that they might break Margaret Okayo’s 2003 course record of 2:22:31. Sunday’s race was much colder than last year, with temperatures in the 50s—perfect for record breaking times and for the 50,000 runners. Last year’s weather was unseasonably warm, with highs in the 70s.

As an alternative, the women’s race featured a tactical field of eleven competitors, with American racers Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle leading the pack for the first twenty miles. Huddle and Taylor both briefly led the pack before fading to finish eighth and ninth.

For the last few miles, Obiri, Gidey, and Lokedi accelerated as the lead group returned to Manhattan.

The three pulled away from fourth-place finisher Brigid Kosgei of Kenya as they entered Central Park.

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