Kenya’s marathon runner Mary Keitany won her third consecutive New York City Marathon title Sunday in a wire to wire victory that saw her maintain a significant lead from the early moments of the race all the way to the end. The 34-year-old set a punishing pace, finishing the 26.2 miles race with a time of 2 hours 24 minutes and 26 seconds, according to the New York Times.
“I was not planning to do this, but I had a time I wanted to run and I needed to keep the pace. I’ve run alone many times and I trained well,” Keitany explained.
She was followed by fellow Kenyan Sally Kipyego, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000 meters race who finished in 2 hours 28 minutes and 1 second.
Kipyego was followed by American Molly Huddle who finished with a time of 2:28:13 in her first-ever marathon race.
“On the breakaway, I had to decide if I go or stay. I kind of went a little harder around mile 8 and was alone for a while. Then slowed down a little bit too much on the bridge at mile 15, and I need to measure myself a little better,” Huddle said.
Keitany’s early separation from the lead group presented a huge challenge to her competitors who were forced to intensify their pace in hopes of catching up with her until it became apparent that her lead was insurmountable.
In the men’s race, Eritrean Ghirmay Ghebreslassie won with a time of 2 hours 7 minutes and 51 seconds.
With his victory, the 20-year-old, who won the world championship in Beijing in 2015 at the age of 19, became the youngest winner in the history of the New York City Marathon.
Ghebreslassie made a breakaway from a tight pack of three during mile 20 and maintained the lead all the way to the finish line.
He was followed by Kenya’s Lucas Rotich, who finished with a time of 2:08:53, minutes ahead of Somali-born Abdi Abdirahman, who now runs for the United States.
Abdirahman finished with a time of 2 hours 11 minutes and 23 seconds.