Mutai, Jeptoo win NY Marathon in Kenyan sweep

Sun Nov 3, 2013 3:35pm EST
 
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Defending champion Geoffrey Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo won the men's and women's races at the New York City Marathon on Sunday for a Kenyan sweep in chilly, windy conditions through the city's five boroughs.

After last year's race was canceled due to damage inflicted on the city by Superstorm Sandy, the race marked a triumphant return as a record 50,740 runners started from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that connects Staten Island to Brooklyn.

Jeptoo overtook front-running Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba with about two miles to go to win going away in two hours, 25 minutes and seven seconds and claim a huge payday in a race that began in 46 degrees F with winds of 17 mph.

London Marathon winner Jeptoo trailed 2011 New York runner-up Deba, who lives and trains in the Big Apple, by nearly four minutes before shifting into catch-up mode from the 16-mile mark to reel in her rival, who suffered from stomach cramping during the race.

The win brought Jeptoo a World Marathon Majors bonus of $500,000 in addition to the New York prize of $100,000.

"This is a great moment for me, and this is a day I will not forget for the rest of my life," said Jeptoo.

Deba finished second, 49 seconds back, in a race run under tight security in the aftermath of April's Boston Marathon bombings with twice NYC winner Jelena Prokopcuka, 37, of Latvia third.

SHIFTS GEARS   Continued...

 
Geoffrey Mutai and Stanley Biwott (R), both of Kenya, make their way through the borough of Manhattan during the New York City Marathon in New York, November 3, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger