NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – Mary Keitany overcame stiff opposition to reclaim her New York City Marathon title, cutting the tape in 2:22:48 on Sunday.
Keitany, the three-time London Marathon champion has now won the New York Marathon title four times after taking the women’s crown back from American Shalane Flanagan who beat the Kenyan marathon star to second place in 2017.
With the pace blistering and unrelenting, the lead pack was reduced to the duo of Keitany and Ethiopian Rahma Tusa before the Kenyan overpowered her competitor to surge all the way alone to clock the second fastest time in the New York Marathon course.
— TCS New York City Marathon (@nycmarathon) November 4, 2018
Kenyan Margaret Okayo is the New York Marathon women’s record holder with a time of 2:22:31 set in 2003.
“I felt great today. I’m really happy for winning. I did not give up (after last year). I went back home and said I will try my best and that’s why I came back and that’s what I did. I worked very hard for the victory,” Keitany said.
Keitany, the women-only marathon world record holder with a time of 2:17:01, shed massive five minutes off the time she clocked last year. With the win Keitany, 36, pocketed Sh10m (USD100,000) prize money.
Compatriot, Olympic champion in the 5000m, Vivian Cheruiyot finished second on her debut in the race, returning 2:26:02 while defending champion Shalane Flanagan of America settled for third in 2:26:32.
Only Norway’s Grete Waitz, a nine-time champion from 1978 to 1988, has won more New York women’s titles than Keitany.
Keitany stayed with the leaders from the start, taking on the challenging pace of Ethiopians Netsunet Gudeta and Rahma Tusa in a breakaway midway into the 26.2-mile race over the streets of New York.
World half-marathon champion Gudeta cracked in the 16th mile and Tusa faded in the 18th, leaving Keitany to run alone to the finish line over the closing miles.
— Vivian Cheruiyot (@VivianCheruiyot) November 4, 2018
Flanagan and Cheruiyot, the 2016 Olympic 5,000m champion who won in London in April, charged over the final miles to claim podium places.