Tola sets NYC Marathon course record to win men’s race; Hellen Obiri of Kenya takes women’s title


NEW YORK (AP) — Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia set a course record to win the New York City Marathon men’s race on Sunday while Hellen Obiri of Kenya pulled away in the final 400 meters to take the women’s title.

Tola finished in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 58 seconds, topping the 2:05.06 set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011. Tola pulled away from countrymate Jemal Yimer when the pair were heading toward the Bronx at mile 20. By the time he headed back into Manhattan a mile later he was up by 19 seconds and chasing Mutai’s mark.

While the men’s race was well decided before the last few miles, the women’s race came down to the stretch. Obiri, Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia and defending champion Sharon Lokedi were all running together exchanging the lead. Obiri made a move as the trio headed back into Central Park for the final half-mile and finished in 2:27.23. Gidey finished second, 6 seconds behind.

Lokedi was 10 seconds behind Obiri, who won the Boston Marathon in April.

This was a stellar women’s field that was expected to potentially take down the course record of 2:22:31 set by Margaret Okayo in 2003. Unlike last year when the weather was unseasonably warm with temperatures in the 70s, Sunday’s race was much cooler with it being in the 50s — ideal conditions for record breaking times.

Instead the women had a tactical race with 11 runners, including Americans Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle in the lead pack for the first 20 miles. Taylor and Huddle both led the group at points before falling back and finishing in eighth and ninth.

Once the lead group came back into Manhattan for the final few miles, Obiri, Gidey and Lokedi pushed the pace.

As the trio entered Central Park they further distanced themselves from Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, who finished fourth.

The men’s and women’s winners finished within a few minutes of each other. About an hour earlier, Marcel Hug won the men’s wheelchair race, finishing a few seconds short of his own course record by finishing in 1:25.29. It was the Swiss star’s record-extending sixth NYC Marathon victory.

“It’s incredible. I think it takes some time to realize what happened,” Hug said. “I’m so happy as well.”

He’s the most decorated champion in the wheelchair race at the event, breaking a tie with Tatyana McFadden and Kurt Fearnley for most wins in the division in event history.


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