Kenya’s Mary Keitany dreams of winning a fourth straight TSC New York Marathon went up in smoke on Sunday evening after she relinquished her title to American, Shalen Flanagan.
Flagan, who ran an energetic race came top in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 53 seconds, ahead of Keitany who settled for the second slot in 2:27.54. Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia came third in 2:28.08.
There was however good news in the men’s category where two-time IAAF Half Marathon and two-time World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor won in 2:10:53, leading compatriot Wilson Kipsang to a 1,2 finish. Kipsang covered the 42 kilometre course in 2:10:56 as Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia came third in 2:11.32
Flanagan became the first American woman to win the race since Miki Gorman, 1977 triimp.
The women’s race started 30 minutes before the men’s race flag off at the Arrizona Narrows Bridge. As Keitany strategically choose to seek shelter behind other competitiors covering the first five kilometers in 19:05 and 10k
The women covered 15 Km in 54:44, led by Kiplagat as Keitany waited to make her move after the 30km mark.
It was a tough duel that saw Keitany stumble at the fluid station, near the half marathon marker, but got back into the race rhythm and moved to the front, as the 2015 All- African Games Half Marathon champion Mamitu Daska led the pack to cover 25km in 1:30.07.
The ‘Apple Queen’ patiently hanged out with the leading pack until she decided to make her move after taking off her gloves.
Daska and Keitany kept on challenging each other to the front as Kiplagat and Saina broke off from the leading pack of three. Things got hot for Keitany, taking off her sleeves with American Shalene Flanagan appearing in the picture as they crossed the 35km mark in 2:05.32.
As things got heated, Flanagan became confident with each stride to become the first American woman to win the race since Miki Gorman in 1977. Keitany started fading off the race running on the wrong side of the course giving Flanagan on her left, a 10m advantage over her.
The American continued to power on staying on covering 40km in 2:19.53 , about 30 seconds ahead of Keitany.
Kamworor upsets Kipsang
In the men’s battle, Kamworor upset road race veteran and former world record holder Kipsang, to take victory in 2:10.53 three seconds ahead of 2014 champion.
Kipsang had his second podium finish in 2:10.56 after bagging the Tokyo Marathon title earlier in the year, while Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa finished third in 2:11.32.
Kipsang had an early command of the race covering the first 5 Km in 16:19 and 10Km in 31:57. Defending champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie made a surge to take lead through the half marathon in 1:06:09, but Kamworor patiently took over the leadership of the race as Kipsang tried to keep up with him to no avail.
Tough as it may , it was a sweet outing for Kamworor, the Beijing World Championships 10,000m silver medalist,as he went for glory with Olympic champion and freshly minted Berlin Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge receiving him at the finish line with open arms and smiles.