Sharon Lokedi of Kenya won the women’s marathon in New York on Sunday, while Evans Chebet won the men’s race to complete a Kenyan double.
Lokedi, who ran the 26.2-mile distance for the first time in her career, pulled away from Israeli Lonah Chemtai Salpeter in the closing stages, finishing in a time of two hours, 23 minutes and 23 seconds .
Salpeter was second by seven seconds and Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslase, who was crowned world marathon champion earlier this year, was third.
Hellen Obiri, who made her marathon debut and one of the pre-race favourites, struggled in the closing stages and fell back from the front runners, eventually finishing sixth.
Lokedi, 28, is only the eighth athlete in history – male or female – to win in New York on her marathon debut, and she appeared visibly emotional after crossing the finish line in Central Park .
“I’m at a loss for words, I’m really excited… The course was amazing, the cheers, everything,” she told ESPN. “I’m just grateful”
On the men’s side, Chebet became the first man to win the New York and Boston marathons in the same year since 2011, as he finished in two hours, eight minutes and 41 seconds, 13 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Shura Kitata, while the Netherlands’ Abdi Nageeye was third by more than a minute.
Chebet’s win means Kenyan men have won all six major city marathons this year. In addition to Chebet’s title in Boston, Eliud Kipchoge won in Tokyo and Berlin, Amos Kipruto won in London and Benson Kipruto won in Chicago.
There were tough conditions for Sunday’s race as temperatures in New York hovered around 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Farenheit).
Brazilian Daniel Do Nascimento led the field for much of the men’s race, but he collapsed on the ground and received medical treatment in the closing stages, giving Chebet the lead.
Race officials later told CNN that Do Nascimento was fine after dropping out of the race.
50,000 runners are expected to take part in this year’s New York City Marathon – the first race at full capacity since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The race, which crosses New York’s five boroughs, was held virtually in 2020 and with a limited number of competitors in 2021.
In the men’s wheelchair division race, Switzerland’s Marcel Hug won the fifth New York Marathon title of his career in the men’s race.
The 36-year-old – known as the ‘Swiss Silver Bullet’ – broke the wheelchair course record by nearly four minutes, finishing in one hour, 25 minutes and 25 seconds.
This broke Australian Kurt Fearnley’s record of 1:29:22 set in 2006.
American Susannah Scaroni also set a course record in the women’s race, finishing in one hour, 42 minutes and 43 seconds to beat Tatyana McFadden’s previous record.