NEW YORK, November 4- A mysterious guy riding a bike may have saved Priscah Jeptoo the mammoth Sh53.45m ($625,000) pay-cheque for winning the 2013 New York Marathon and the women’s World Marathon Majors jackpot.
Jeptoo who added her first Big Apple crown to her London triumph in April did not realise how far behind Ethiopian New York resident, Buzunesh Deba, until her ‘saviour’ appeared.
“I didn’t know the gap was, but there was a guy who was riding a bicycle. He came and told me that you are behind three minutes.
“I realized that three minutes is almost one kilometre. So I started to push the pace. I knew, and I was having confidence that I will make it,” the Olympics marathon silver medallist who clocked 2:25:07 for the win said post-race.
Jeptoo was not sure who the person was, or whether he was an official with the race, but if he had not spoken up and told her she was 3 minutes down, she might have left with $540,000 less dollars. (Second place paid $60,000 versus $100,000 for first).
“This is a great moment for me, and this is a day I will not forget for the rest of my life,” the second Kenyan female majors circuit winner after Mary Keitany stated.
Her victory confirmed her as the best female marathoner currently competing, having racked up silver medals at the 2011 Worlds and last year’s Olympics as well as winning her third major city race following triumphs in Paris (2011) and London.
Geoffrey Mutai won the men’s race in 2:08:24 to defend the crown he won in 2011, the last time the Big Apple showpiece ran.
Although final finisher totals will not be known until Monday, the New York Road Runners reported that 50,740 runners started the race making it the largest marathon in history.
-Material from LetsRun.com used to compile this report.