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Kenyans Albert Korir and Peres Jepchirchir won the 50th annual New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Korir won in the time of 2:08:22, nearly matching his personal best from Ottawa which he ran in the time of 2:08:03 two years ago. Meanwhile, Jepchirchir, the Tokyo Olympic marathon gold medallist, finished in the time of 2:22:39, to cap the 28-year-old’s best year (13 months) of running, to date.
It started when she won her second World Half Marathon Championships title and set the women’s only world record with a 65:16 performance in Gdynia, Poland on October 17, 2020. At that time, she had her mind set on winning the Tokyo Olympic gold medal in Sapporo. She did just that and in the process defeated marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei.
It was a great performance on a perfect day for a marathon in New York.
Jepchirchir and fellow Kenyan Viola Cheptoo as well as Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh were running together before Jepchirchir began to pull away at the 25-mile (40K) point in Central Park. Cheptoo finished in second in 2:22:44, five seconds behind Jepchirchir, and Yeshaneh took third in the time of 2:22:52. The fourth-place finisher, 2020 Tokyo bronze medalist Molly Seidel, set the American course record with a time of 2:24:42.
For Seidel to improve her own personal best on a course like New York is tremendous to cap off a big year for the American, who surprised everyone including herself when she earned the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games marathon.
Korir separated himself from the pack during the second half. At that point, Korir was sitting comfortably in eighth place and a minute off the leaders, Eyob Faniel of Italy and Mohamed El Aaraby of Morocco. He won by more than 44 seconds over El Aaraby, who took second in the time of 2:09:06, and more than 90 seconds ahead of Faniel, for third in 2:09:52.
The men’s wheelchair division saw a familiar face cross the line first as Marcel Hug of Switzerland won for the fourth time with a time of 1:31:24. Hug won four gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics and won his fourth Major Marathon (following victories in Berlin, Boston, and London) to add to his successful year. Paralympic marathon gold medal winner Madison de Rozario of Australia won the women’s wheelchair in the time of 1:51:01.
American, Shalane Flanagan, capped off one of the greatest strings of marathons all-time. At 40, retired and racing six marathons in 42 days at near-elite times was a stunning performance. She started five of the six Marathon Major events not as an elite. She ran one virtual marathon in lieu of the cancelled Tokyo Marathon. Flanagan ran 2:38:32 in Berlin, 2:35:04 in London, 2:46:39 in Chicago, 2:40:34 in Boston 2:35:14 virtual in lieu of Tokyo and 2:33:34 in New York.
SHOESTRINGS: Canadian, Lanni Marchant, had a tremendous comeback marathon clocking a 2:32:34, which is nearly a decade and a series of surgeries away from her former national record of 2:28:00, which she ran in Toronto in 2013. It was a long way back for the 37-year-old, who may have matched her personal best in terms of quality of performance considering New York is not nearly as fast as a marathon course as Toronto’s is.