Geoffrey Mutai shattered the course record in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, no surprise after he ran the fastest marathon ever earlier this year.
Firehiwot Dado wasn't a favorite coming into the women's race and victory seemed impossible with even a few miles left. But the Ethiopian made a stunning comeback for her first major marathon title. Mutai finished in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 6 seconds, crushing the previous mark of 2:07:43 set by Tesfaye Jifar of Ethiopia a decade earlier.
The 30-year-old Mutai has established himself as the favorite at next summer's Olympics after two landmark performances this year.
In April, he ran the fastest 26.2 miles in history: 2:03:02 in Boston. It didn't count as a world record because the course is considered too straight and too downhill.
The second- and third-place finishers Sunday also broke the old course record. Fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai (no relation), the London Marathon champ, was 1:22 back. Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia was third.
Dado trailed London Marathon champ Mary Keitany by nearly 2½ minutes at the 15-mile mark but passed her with about a mile left. The 27-year-old Dado won in 2:23:15 – almost a minute better than her previous personal best.
Fellow Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba, who lives in the Bronx, was second for her first podium finish at a major marathon, four seconds back. It was the second-closest women's finish in the race's history.
"I didn't really think we would catch her," Dado said through a translator in a post-race interview. "When we caught up to her, I was very surprised."
Keitany was third, 23 seconds back. The Kenyan was well under course-record pace for much of the race but faded badly over the final miles.
A record 47,107 runners started the race through the five boroughs.
The Associated Press also reports:
Amanda McGrory of the United States set a course record in the women's wheelchair race and Masazumi Soejima of Japan won the men's race at the New York City Marathon.
The 25-year-old McGrory of Champaign, Illinois, finished the 26.2-mile course through the five boroughs of New York in 1 hour, 50 minutes, 24 seconds.
McGrory, a four-time Paralympic medalist, also won the Paris and London Marathons one week apart this year. She was followed by Shelly Woods of Britain (1:52:52) and Tatyana McFadden of the United States (1:52:52).
The 41-year-old Soejima finished in 1:31:41, followed by Kurt Fearnley of Australia (1:33:56) and Kota Hokinoue of Japan (1:34:22).
The previous women's course record was set by Edith Hunkeler of Switzerland in 1:52:38 in 2007.