NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Kenya’s Stanley Biwott and Mary Keitany swept the titles at the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Keitany became the first woman to repeat since Paula Radcliffe in 2008.READ MORE: NYPD: Suspect Stole $50,000 From 89-Year-Old Man During Queens Home Invasion
PHOTOS: TCS New York City Marathon
Biwott won his first major marathon title after placing second in London last year. He finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 34 seconds, beating countryman Geoffrey Kamworor by 14 seconds. Reigning Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa was third and defending champion was Wilson Kipsang fourth.
Keitany finished in 2:24:25, beating Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia by 67 seconds for the largest margin of victory since Radcliffe’s 2008 title. She pulled away around the 21-mile mark to become the eighth woman to win more than once in New York. Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa took third.
Keitany, a two-time London Marathon champ, had twice finished third in New York before breaking through last year when she won by just 3 seconds. That was her first marathon since 2012 because of the birth of her second child.
Mergia is also coming back from a long break. Her daughter was born in July 2013 and she didn’t run another marathon until winning in Dubai in January.
Laura Thweatt of the U.S. was seventh in her marathon debut. In the men’s race, 40-year-old American Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 champ, was also seventh.
In the wheelchair division, Tatyana McFadden was the winner, breaking the course record for a woman with a blistering time of one hour, 42 minutes, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
There was a photo finish in the men’s wheelchair race, with Ernst van Dyk of South Africa besting American Josh George by 1 second.
More than 50,000 runners were expected to finish the 45th running of NYC Marathon, completing the 26.2 miles through the five boroughs.
“I think it’s the greatest day in New York City,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of the New York Road Runners, which stages the iconic event. “You get to run through the five boroughs. You have millions of people cheering for you on the streets, and it is really inspiring and a terrific day.”
Capiraso was running in his 24th marathon.READ MORE: New Pop-Up COVID Vaccination Sites Open Across New York, Signs Of Normalcy Returning To City
Metropolitan Opera singer Susanna Phillips, meanwhile, was running in her first.
“I’ve been training for this particular race since May, so I’ve been doing the New York Road Runners training program as much as I can,” she told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock. “So yeah, I’ve done up to 18 miles, and I’m ready to go.”
Phillips will also sing the National Anthem before the race.
“All of the people out here, I’m so inspired by them,” she said. “Each person out here has a story of their own and a personal reason to run, so for me to be able to start them off — hopefully in a good way — it’s a tremendous honor.”
Many runners were also raising money for good causes.
Chris Klug, a professional snowboarder, was the first person to win an Olympic medal after undergoing a liver transplant. He’s running the marathon for the first time, too.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “My big goal for doing this is just to enjoy it, to experience it (and) obviously to represent organ and tissue donation awareness. I had a lifesaving liver transplant 15 years ago, and (I’m) a big advocate for donor awareness and for helping those touched by transplantation.”
Runners came from far and wide to participate.
“I am a runner, and every runner who runs a marathon needs to run New York Marathon,” Michel Gendry, the mayor of Parcé-sur-Sarthe, France, told WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola.
“The spectators are one of the best, I hear, compared to all of the other marathons,” said Jay, of Bristol, England.
The crowds were six to eight people deep on the sidewalks in Manhattan, with supporters waving and cheering, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported. The energy from the crowds encouraged the runners to keep pushing hard.
The race began in Staten Island, and the finish line is in Central Park.MORE NEWS: Brooklyn Couple Hospitalized After Stabbing In Bushwick, Police Investigating
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)