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Kenyans sweep top spots of 2014 New York City Marathon

By Tajuddin
In Uncategorized
Nov 3rd, 2014
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New York City Marathon, Nov. 2, 2014. Mary Keitany of Kenya

New York City Marathon, Nov. 2, 2014. Mary Keitany of Kenya

New York ( WSJ + DIPLOMAT.SO) Kenyans swept the top spots in the men’s and women’s races at the 2014 New York City Marathon for the second year in a row and the fourth time in the race’s history after 44 stagings.

In a tactical race that was tied for the closest women’s finish ever, Mary Keitany of Kenya held off countrywoman Jemima Sumgong to win, breaking the finishing tape in 2:25:07, just three seconds ahead of Sumgong, with whom she battled stride for stride through the final three miles of the race.

Wilson Kipsang of Kenya celebrates as he hits the tape to win the men's division of the the 44th annual New York City Marathon in New York, Sunday, Nov

Wilson Kipsang of Kenya celebrates as he hits the tape to win the men’s division of the the 44th annual New York City Marathon in New York, Sunday, Nov

On the men’s side, former world record holder Wilson Kipsang found another gear in the final mile, finishing in 2:10:59 ahead of Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa.

Pushing through blustery winds of 20-25 miles per hour with wind chill of about 34 degrees at the start, both the men’s and women’s races made for dramatic viewing, with leaders running in tight packs for much of the course.

Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in New York

The New York City Marathon, which does not provide pace makers and is distinguished by challenging, gradual inclines through the concluding miles, is designed to be a tactical race, and Sunday’s 44th running was no exception.

Several women including two-time defending champion Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, Sara Moreira of Portugal and Valeria Straneo of Italy traded the lead position through the early miles, lessening the work load of the East African runners and setting them up for a fast finish.

Moreira, who made her marathon debut on Sunday in New York, gave a surprising and admirable effort, finishing 3rd after taking the lead for much of the middle of the race. Her best showing in an international race to date was a win in the 2013 European Indoor track & field Championship 3000 meters.

The women’s race became decisive after the 23rd and fastest mile to that point, when Kenyans Sumgong and Keitany dropped a 5:11 mile through Harlem. They stuck within a stride of one another through the finish, with Keitany pulling away only in the final meters.

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