(Stanley Biwott crosses the finish line – @nyrr)
Stanley Biwott and Mary Keitany of Kenya were the winners at the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday afternoon. Biwott won for the first time on the men’s side, and Keitany repeated as women’s champion.
Biwott finished with a time of two hours, ten minutes, and 34 seconds and won it with a late surge at Central Park’s East Drive to pull away from runner-up Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya, who he outlasted by 14 seconds, and third-place finisher Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia.
Biwott said afterwards, “I’m happy today for being the winner of the New York City Marathon. My game plan today was I run to win the race. Thank you very much.”
Kamworor, who finished at 2:10:48, said, “For me, I was hoping to finish in the podium, top three. Then I thought I could win, but I’m happy to finish with what I could. Being in second position is good for me because I still have time. Next year maybe I’ll come and try my best to win.”
Desisa, who came in at 2:12:10, said, “Thank you very much. This race is a fantastic race. Wonderful weather, nice course, people also good for morale for 26.2 miles. This race is a nice race, but two guys are very fast. I tried to follow them, but I have not enough fortitude to follow them, but the race is a nice race. Two guys are fantastic guys. It is a very nice race. I am happy for third place. Thank you.”
Biwott had prior finishes of second and fourth in London and fifth in New York. He said of what he did to win today and what was different, “During my previous London Marathon and New York Marathon, I was not able to run the last 5 kilometers at a consistent speed. So for my preparation for this New York Marathon, I trained for the 42 kilometers, not 35. So I was able to do my endurance speed to finish with a strong speed without running slow at the end.
So I was confident and happy to be the winner of the day. Thank you.”
At mile 20, Biwott made a big move and the race broke open and covered the next two miles in about 8:55. On if he was surprised how fast it went and what he was thinking when he made that move, Biwott said, “Yeah, I was just listening to my body, and also the pace was too slow. So I was able to race with moderate speed. So I was just beginning to pass a certain speed (indiscernible).”
Biwott set the pace over the last 5K, up the hill, and then he made a move to get away when the race hit Central Park. On if he relied on his strength rather than speed, and his experience in New York, he said, “When I reached the park, I knew the course. I had been here two years ago. So I knew reaching the park there was an uphill. So I was able to push towards the uphill and to maintain high speed and looking forward to the finishing line. So I was able to maintain high speed, knowing that some few kilometers I would reach the finishing line.”
On how he changed his training to increase endurance and how he trained for this, Biwott said, “During my training for the last three months, I was able to change our program and Gabriele Rosa introduced another program for me to be able to run a marathon without getting exhausted. So I was happy with the program. I train longer and increase the distance. So today it helped me a lot, and I believe in the program. Thank you.”
Mary Keitany finished with a time of two hours, 24 minutes, and 25 seconds to win it on the women’s side. She won it by over a minute ahead of the runner-up Aselefech Mergia, who came in at 2:25:32. Tigist Tufa came in third with a time of 2:25:50.
Keitany said of picking up the pace at around the 30-kilometer mark,and winning the race, “I think we started together in the race. After that turn, I started to move up, work by Tufa. And after 35 (kilometers), I was just alone in the street, and I kept on going. But at the beginning, I did not go because I know the course in New York. Many times I had run it. So I said, let me just wait.
And then I got the win for this year. I’m happy. I’m very excited. I had fun. Thank you.”
Keitany said of her familiarity with the course helping in terms of being patient and having a good idea when to make her move, “For me I had them come past me in 2011, because I started out too fast and two ladies come and passed me. So I had to be patient today and wait. The 30K was the time for me to move. It was okay.”