NYC Marathon: Debut Runner Wins Women's Title In Upset, Men's Champ Wins For 2nd Time

WCBS 880 Newsroom
November 03, 2019 - 11:04 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) – More than 50,000 runners made their 26.2-mile trek through the five boroughs on Sunday as part of the 49th annual TCS New York City Marathon.

They hailed from all over the city and from around the world, kicking off the race at the Verrazzano Bridge on Staten Island at 8:30 a.m.

The weather was perfect for the race, with temperatures rising from the 40s into the low 50s by afternoon under sunny skies.

Like every year, the race has led to plenty of street closures. Find a complete list of the closures here.

About a million spectators filled the streets surrounding the route, banging drums and cheering on the runners, from the brownstones of Fort Greene to the towering apartment buildings of Long Island City.

Thousands of NYPD officers joined the spectators. Security was tight, with hundreds of blocker trucks and other safety measures protecting attendees.

In the race, Joyciline Jepkosgei powered away from four-time winner Mary Keitany to win the women's title at the New York City Marathon in her first race ever at 26.2 miles.

Jepkosgei crossed the finish line in Central Park in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 38 seconds Sunday, seven seconds off the course record.

The 25-year-old Jepkosgei holds the world record in the half-marathon but had never run this distance. The Kenyan pulled away from countrymate Keitany with about three miles to go. Keitany collapsed after finishing 53 seconds later.

Jepkosgei is the youngest winner in New York since 25-year-old Margaret Okayo in 2001. She also won the New York City Half-Marathon in March and is the first runner to win both events.

Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya won his second men's title in three years at the New York City Marathon.

Kamworor crossed the finish in Central Park at 2 hours, 8 minutes and 13 seconds Sunday.

He pulled away from countryman Albert Korir in the 24th mile. Korir finished second, and Ethiopian non-elite runner Girma Bekele Gebre was third.

The 26-year-old Kamworor finished third last year after winning in 2017.

He was greeted at the finish line by training partner Eliud Kipchoge, who completed the first sub-2 hour marathon last month — a feat accomplished under conditions so tightly controlled it didn't qualify for the record books.

Kamworor, also the world record holder in the half-marathon, is the 10th multi-time winner.

Defending men's champion Lelisa Desisa dropped out after seven miles, perhaps hurting following a grueling victory at the sweltering world championships last month.

Desisa, who is from Ethiopia, was in 17th place at the seven-mile mark before leaving the course. It was 45 degrees F at the start of the men's race, ideal for marathoning.

Manuela Schär of Switzerland has won her third straight women's wheelchair title at the New York City Marathon, giving her eight consecutive marathon major victories.

After rolling ahead of the record pace for much of Sunday's race, Schär crossed the finish about a minute off the mark at 1 hour, 44 minutes and 20 seconds.

Daniel Romanchuk of the United States repeated as men's wheelchair champion in another tight finish over Switzerland's Marcel Hug.

Romanchuk held off Hug with a final sprint through Central Park, crossing the finish line in 1 hour, 37 minutes and 24 seconds. Hug was one second behind for a second straight year, and Germany's David Weir and American Aaron Pike were also within 10 seconds.

Last year, Romanchuk became the first American and youngest competitor to win the men's division as a 20-year-old. He followed with victories this year at the Boston and London Marathons. Hug took the New York title in 2016 and 2017.

Among the runners was 86-year-old Ginette Bedard of Howard Beach. She’s the oldest person running in the race, and this is her 17th New York City Marathon. She said it helps her mentally and physically.

Douglas Bonmon of Michigan was sporting a pink bathrobe as he waited to start the race. This was his seventh marathon, but his first in New York.

“It’s like the United Nations of running,” said race director Jim Heim.