Mutai, Jeptoo Win NYC Marathon

Kenyans lead field of 50,740

Geoffrey Mutai wins the 2013 New York City Marathon in 2:08:24.     Photo: ING New York Marathon

A year after it was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Marathon returned triumphantly on Sunday, boasting a record 50,740 participants, including Kenyans Geoffrey Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo, who won the men’s and women’s fields, respectively.

Mutai ran a 2:08:24 to become the first man to win consecutive New York City Marathons since fellow Kenyan John Kagwe won the event in 1997 and 1998.

“This is harder than 2011,” he said. “To win and defend your title is not easy.”

Olympic silver medalist Jeptoo finished in 2:25:07 to become the World Marathon Majors overall champion. She won $500,000 in addition to the $100,000 she claimed for winning New York.

“The crowd, they really helped me a lot because they were cheering, joyful, telling me: Go, go, go!” she said at the winners’ news conference. “This is a day I will not forget for the rest of my life.” 

Americans Ryan Vail, of Portland, and Adriana Nelson, of Fort Collins, both finished 13th. Meb Keflezighi, who won in 2009 and was the American favorite entering the race, finished 23rd in 2:23:47.

In the wake of the Boston bombings, more than $1 million was spent on marathon security, including an increased mobile camera and police presence. According to race director Mary Wittenberg, there were “zero incidents and zero threats … it’s mostly happiness. It’s an important day for the city.”

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