On a cold and windy day in New York, Wilson Kipsang turned out a measured performance to take home a lucrative $600,000 prize. Kipsang, making his debut at the event, broke away from Lelisa Desisa in the final half mile to secure victory, with compatriot Mary Keitany ensuring Kenyan dominance with top place in the female field.
While New York isn’t renowned for quick times, the testing conditions meant the men’s competition turned out to be a highly tactical affair. The leading runners were grouped together until the 20 mile mark before Kipsang and Desisa broke free. Kipsang, winner of this year’s London Marathon, proved to be stronger in the closing stretch, crossing the line in 2:10:59, with Desisa second in 2:11:06 and Gebre Gebremariam third in 2:12:13.
On collecting the World Marathon Majors bonus, Kipsang said: "Of course I was thinking about it. My only chance to win the jackpot was to win this race. I was trying to apply all the tactics to make sure I would win."
The women’s competition was similarly close, with Mary Keitany edging out Jemima Sumgong over the last mile to take victory in 2:25:07. Sumgong, runner up at the Boston Marathon in 2012, commented on the conditions: “It was windy, very windy. I’ve never gone to a race which is very windy like today here.”
The respective victories for Keitany and Kipsang arrived just a day after fellow Kenyan Rita Jeptoo tested positive for a banned substance. Jeptoo was expected to travel to New York to pick up the World Marathon Majors title but the ceremony was cancelled in light of the news.
Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki made an impressive marathon debut, crossing the line in just over 3:26. The race, celebrating its 44th year, also witnessed its millionth finisher in Katherine Slingluff. The Brooklyn runner is now guaranteed entry into the race for life.
To find out how you can enter the 2015 event, visit Sports Tours International.