Kenyan Hellen Obiri produced an extraordinary final kick to break the tape in two hours 27 minutes and 23 seconds at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, picking up her second major title this year.
Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey crossed the finish line about six seconds later while last year’s winner, Kenyan Sharon Lokedi, finished third in 2:27:33. It was a tight lead pack for women until the Kenyan pulled away at 400 meters to the finishing line to bag gold. Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia took bronze after finishing the race at 2:27:29.
Another Kenyan Sharon Lokedi staged a commendable performance after finishing the race third at 2:27:33. The win marks Obiri’s second victory of the year after winning the Boston Marathon, which is considered the world’s oldest annual marathon, with a time of 2:21:38. Former world record holder Brigid Kosgei and defending champion Sharon Lokedi were running in fifth and sixth places.
Passing the 10km mark, Americans Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle had now taken charge. Ethiopia’s Fantu Zewude was running in third place. Mary Ngugi and Lokedi were now running in fourth and fifth place.At the halfway mark, Taylor was still leading the pack and Solange Jesus had now climbed to second place. Lokedi was running in third place.
Taylor led the park as they passed the 25km mark and she was still closely followed by Cheptoo as Obiri was running in third place. Obiri was looking very comfortable as the athletes approached the home straight and she put up a good fight to cross the finish line first in 2:27:23. Gidey and Lokedi finished second and third in respective times of 2:27:29 and 2:27:33.
Meanwhile, Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia set a course record to win the men’s race. Tola finished in 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 58 seconds, topping the 2:05.06 set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011. Tola pulled away from countrymate Jemel Yimer when the pair were heading towards the Bronx at mile 20. By the time he headed back into Manhattan a mile later, he was up by 19 seconds and chasing Mutai’s mark.