News / Africa

Kenyan Runners Win New York City Marathon

Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya holds the Kenyan flag after winning the men's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya holds the Kenyan flag after winning the men's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
VOA News
— Defending champions Geoffrey Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo won the men's and women's races at the New York City Marathon on Sunday for a Kenyan sweep in chilly, windy conditions through the city's five boroughs.
 
After last year's race was canceled due to damage inflicted on the city by Superstorm Sandy, the race marked a triumphant return as a record 50,740 runners started from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that connects Staten Island to Brooklyn.
 
Jeptoo overtook front-running Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba with about two miles to go to win going away in two hours, 25 minutes and seven seconds and claim a huge payday in a race that began in 46 degrees F (8 Centigrade) with winds of 17 mph (27 kph).
 
Priscah Jeptoo (L) of Kenya is wrapped in the Kenyan flag by Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, after Jeptoo crossed the finish line to win the women's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.Priscah Jeptoo (L) of Kenya is wrapped in the Kenyan flag by Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, after Jeptoo crossed the finish line to win the women's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
x
Priscah Jeptoo (L) of Kenya is wrapped in the Kenyan flag by Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, after Jeptoo crossed the finish line to win the women's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
Priscah Jeptoo (L) of Kenya is wrapped in the Kenyan flag by Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, after Jeptoo crossed the finish line to win the women's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
London Marathon winner Jeptoo trailed 2011 New York runner-up Deba, who lives and trains in the Big Apple, by nearly four minutes before shifting into catch-up mode from the 16-mile mark to reel in her rival, who suffered from stomach cramping during the race.
 
The win brought Jeptoo a World Marathon Majors bonus of $500,000 in addition to the New York prize of $100,000.
 
“This is a great moment for me, and this is a day I will not forget for the rest of my life,” said Jeptoo.
 
Deba finished second, 49 seconds back, in a race run under tight security in the aftermath of April's Boston Marathon bombings with twice NYC winner Jelena Prokopcuka, 37, of Latvia third.
 
Shifts Gears
 

Jeptoo said she realized she had to move into a faster gear when someone on a bicycle told her she was more than three minutes off the pace.
 
The Kenyan left the trailing pack on her own and chased down Deba, who was running alongside training partner Tigist Tufa Demisse.
 
“So I push alone so much, and you know it was very cold wind,” Jeptoo said. “But I try to persevere because I knew that I had trained a lot and had nothing to fear.”

  • Women's winner Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya, center, second place finisher Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia, left, and third place finisher Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia pose with their medals after the New York City Marathon,  Nov. 3, 2013.
  • Women's wheelchair winner Tatyana McFadden of Maryland, left, and men's wheelchair winner Marcel Hug of Switzerland pose for photographers after winning their divisions in the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013, in New York.
  • Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya runs in the New York City Marathon in New York, Nov. 3, 2013. Defending champion Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo won the men's and women's races at the New York City Marathon on Sunday for a Kenyan sweep.
  • Runners, including a man wearing a Captain America costume, react as they cross the finish line after completing the New York City marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
  • Women's winner Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya reacts with members of her team after coming in first in the women's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013, in New York. 
  • Women's wheelchair winner Tatyana McFadden of the United States breaks the tape to win the women's wheelchair division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013.
  • Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya celebrates his first place win in the men's division of the New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2013. 
  • Marathon and government officials take part in the ceremonial painting of the New York City Marathon blue line at Central Park, New York, Oct., 2013. 
  • Workers install a platform after the ceremonial painting of the New York City Marathon blue line at Central Park, New York, Oct. 30, 2013. 
  • New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg speaks to reporters during a news conference at the finish line of the NYC Marathon in New York, Oct. 30, 2013. 
  • Workers install a platform during the ceremonial painting of the New York City Marathon blue line at Central Park, New York, Oct. 30, 2013.

Mutai had to wait an extra year to defend his title from 2011, but the 2011 Boston winner showed he had not lost his edge as he hit the Central Park finish 52 seconds ahead of Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia.
 
“Today was a very tough race,” said 32-year-old Mutai, who finished in 2:08:24. “To win a race for the first time is easy. To defend your title is not easy. I think this makes me more famous in Kenya.”
 
In third place was Lusapho April of South Africa in 2:09:45.
 
Kebede had reason to smile, however, as his second-place finish allowed him to clinch the men's $500,000 World Marathon Majors bonus prize after twice being runner-up.
 
“You know, it is not easy to win World Marathon Majors,” said Kebede. “This is my dream. I'm very happy. I'm glad to get to this point.”
 
Mutai broke away with compatriot Stanley Biwott from a pack of eight that had been bunched at the head of the men's field in Mile 20, then struck out on his own for the victory.
 
“When I was at 20 miles, I was getting a calf problem,” Kebede said. “Because of that, I'm not continuing with them.”
 
Biwott finished fifth in 2:10:41.
 
“The course today, the weather today, it was not easy,” said Mutai. “Even for me, I try all that I can but even I was not believing that I can finish like that. So actually, it says a lot for me to defend my title.”
 
Tatyana McFadden completed a sweep of major marathon women's wheelchair titles, winning her second New York City race in addition to this year's victories in Chicago, Boston and London.
 
Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men's wheelchair race.

Related video:

Kenyan Runners Win New York City Marathoni
X
November 04, 2013 5:36 AM
Tthe New York Marathon was held on Sunday for the first time in two years after last year's storm on the U.S. East Coast cancelled the 2012 race.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid