Mutai, Jeptoo win NY Marathon in Kenyan sweep
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...