NEW YORK – Mary Keitany from Kenya and Lelisa Desisa from Ethiopia won the New York City Marathon on Sunday. Keitany dominated the strong women's field for her fourth win and Desisa was two more runners ahead of the finish line.
28-year-old Desisa kept fellow countryman Shura Kitata 1.99 seconds ahead of his first win in New York. He won the Boston Marathon in 2013 and 2015, finishing second in New York in 2014 and third in 2015 and 2017.
Desisa was the second fastest time in history for 2 hours, 5 minutes and 59 seconds. Geoffrey Mutai from Kenya set the 2011 record of 2:05:05. Last year's winner Geoffrey Kamworor from Kenya finished third on Sunday.
"That's my dream," said Desisa. "To be a champion."
Keitany, 36, was the second woman to win the marathon four times. She ran the race in 2:22:48, the second fastest time for the track in history. Margaret Okayo from Kenya set the record of 2:22:31 in 2003.
Keitany won in 2014, 2015 and 2016 before taking on the American Shalane Flanagan last year. She came to Grete Waitz, a Norwegian who won the marathon nine times between 1978 and 1988, being the only woman to win the marathon four times.
"I can say the course file was not in my head," Keitany said. "For me, winning was very important."
She and the Ethiopians Rahma Tusa and Gudeta turned at the 15-mile mark to a three-woman field. Keitany departed after 19 miles from Tusa and Gudeta, leading Tusa 26.58 seconds and Gudeta 43.98 seconds. She expanded her lead over Tusa to 1: 27.83 at the 21-mile mark.
From that point on, the question was not whether Keitany would win. It was more about how much.
She beat her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot by 3 minutes and 13 seconds.
Flanagan finished third.
"You have to find motivation to focus on," Flanagan said. "When I finally reached the third place, I got another excitement because I was fighting."
The United States had four women in the top 10: Molly Huddle finished fourth, Desiree Linden sixth and Allie Kieffer seventh.
Four American men also finished in the top 10: Jared Ward was sixth, Scott Fauble seventh, Shadrack Biwott ninth and Chris Derrick tenth.
Daniel Romanchuk was the first American to win the men's wheelchair class with a time of 1:36:21. Romanchuk was 1:15 seconds ahead of Marcel Hug in Switzerland. The British David Weir, the American Aaron Pike and the Australian Kurt Fernley rounded off the top five places.
"I need air and I'm in pain," said 20-year-old Romanchuk of Champaign, Illinois, who won the Chicago Marathon last month. "It's wonderful to win my two big marathon races from Abbott on American soil, it's an amazing experience."
Manuela Schar from Switzerland repeated as the winner of the women's wheelchair division. Schar, who also won the marathons in Berlin and Chicago, ended with a time of 1:50:27. American Tatyana McFadden finished second with a time of 1:50:48. Lihong Zou from China took third place. Eliza Ault-Connell from Australia and Margriet Van Den Broek from the Netherlands finished fourth and fifth respectively.