Geoffrey Mutai, 32, of Kenya has won the 2013 NYC Marathon with an unofficial time of 2:08:24 with room to spare. Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebedecame in second at 2:09:15.
“Today it was a very tough race. To win a race for the first time is easy, to defend your title is not easy,” he told ABC 7 after his win. He said the winds were hard to run against. He said it is important to “respect yourself as an athlete.”
Priscah Jeptoo, 29, of Kenya has won for the women’s division with an unofficial time of 2:25:07. Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia came in second with a time of 2:25:57.
“I am very happy to be in New York for the first time,” Jeptoo said. “This means a lot to me.”
Official times for the men’s title. (Screenshot/ABC7)
It is Jeptoo’s first time in the New York City Marathon. She told New York Road Runners (NYRR) before the race: “I’ll try to use my tactics usually that I use when I’m in the race, but you know this is my first time to be here. So I’ll try to also to run good.” She is a 2012 London Olympic marathon silver medalist.
Mutai told NYRR he couldn’t compare this race to the 2011 NYC Marathon, which he won: ”I’m feeling okay. The only thing I can compare with it is after the race because to compare is not easy. You cannot test shape by talking about it until after.”
Mutai broke a world marathon-running record in 2011 with his time of 2:05:06. Mutai coaches himself and other runners in small-town Kenya. He is a father of two and has 10 siblings.
Buzunesh Deba, a New Yorker born in Ethiopia was leading the women and was ahead of Jeptoo by as much as three minutes half way through the race. She vomited, showing signs of weakening coming up on the 20th mile, where they say the race really begins, though vomiting is not uncommon in marathons. Jeptoo pulled ahead in the last two miles to win.
Heading into the marathon Sunday, the two top favorites for the women’s run were Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat and Jeptoo. But Deba was also thought to have a good chance. She would have been the first New Yorker in 39 years to win. She was four seconds shy in 2011, finishing the race in 23 minutes and 15 seconds.
Firehitwot Dado of Ethiopia pulled ahead of her in that race, winning the women’s title.
Kiplagat told New York Road Runners: “This is one of the best courses. It’s not a flat course. It needs a lot of strategy and a lot of mental strength. And I’m happy when I’m on it. It’s still very fresh in my mind, the whole course. I’m confident I can win on Sunday.”
With the temperature in the low 30s, it’s a chilly day for the spectators, and the runners faced a headwind. Some 2 million spectators followed their progress along the 26.2-mile course running through New York City’s five boroughs. The runners are not the only stars, with more than 135 bands and performers playing from the sidelines.
Security is tight. NYPD chief Ray Kelly has said the security planning began on April 16th, just after the Boston Marathon bombing. A new standard has been set for marathon security. Thousands of cameras are in place, 43 bomb-sniffing dogs are making the rounds, and Kelly reports that no specific threats have been identified.
With more than 30 Olympians mingling on the course with amateur runners, totaling some 50,000 in all, the New York City Marathon brings together a diverse crowd.
After the annual marathon was cancelled last year due to Superstorm Sandy, this year’s marathon doubles as a memorial for both the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and the victims of Sandy.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked spectators to remember the victims during an interview with ABC. He said, “It’s been a long time coming between this year and last year.”
Tatyana McFadden has won for the women’s wheelchair race. She already won the Boston, London, and Chicago marathons this year, making her the first to win all four major U.S. marathons in one calendar year.
Marcel Hug of Switzerlandwon the men’s wheelchair race. Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa came in second, and Kurt Fearnley of Australia came in third.