As temperatures dropped and winds picked up on Sunday, Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany won titles at the New York City Marathon.
With 50,881 runners, the 44th edition of the NYC Marathon was off to a record start: It even had its millionth finisher in its history. Winds were gusting at such high speeds that the wheelchair race commenced at the 3-mile mark because it was too dangerous to transport across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
According to The Huffington Post, Kipsang had entered his first New York City Marathon to challenge himself on an uneven course with no pacemaker. As a method to last longer, Kipsang measured his speeds throughout the race as means for strategy. “I had to really exercise a lot of patience,” he said.
Kipsang pushed forward in the final mile for his third major marathon title in just over one year. Completing the Kenyan sweep was Mary Keitany who, like Kipsang, also took the lead late in the women’s race.
“I worked hard for this opportunity,” Keitany said. “I’m happy because I have a victory today, because I know I’ve been coming to New York two times, and I was in that position. So I’m happy today because it was a good day and I win.”
Kipsang’s memorable record-making triumphs in Berlin and London were on flat courses with the help of a pacemaker, making them very different runs from Sunday’s. Winds were blowing at the contenders at more than 30 mph as they adjusted by carefully adhering to a slow pace.
“It was very tactical,” Kipsang said. “So it was not easy.”
The renowned runner finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 59 seconds—dubbed as the slowest winning time in New York state since 1995. The time is also more than 7 1/2 minutes off the world record he set over a year ago in Berlin, which was broken about five weeks ago by his occasional training partner, Dennis Kimmetto.
For their wins, Keitany and Kipsang individually earned $100,000. On top of that, Kipsang proudly held onto his $500,000 World Marathon Majors bonus that was given to him for winning his third major marathon in two years.