Kenya's Kipsang, Keitany win NYC Marathon crowns
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wilson Kipsang won a lucrative duel to the finish to join compatriot Mary Keitany in a Kenyan sweep of the men's and women's races at a cold, windy New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Kipsang and Keitany both pulled away in the last Central Park stretch, with Kipsang's victory bringing him a $600,000 payday as the win also gave him the $500,000 World Marathon Majors bonus.
"Of course I was thinking about it," Kipsang said about the bonus. "My only chance to win the jackpot was to win this race. I was trying to apply all the tactics to make sure I would win."
With temperatures around 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 Celsius) and wind gusting to 40 miles per hour (64 kph), some 50,000 runners set off in the world's largest marathon on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island.
Runners wore ski hats or head bands over their ears and some pulled on sleeves or knee-high socks to deal with the elements that eased during the course of the 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race.
Conditions led to deliberate, tactical races that did not see the leading packs break up until after the 20-mile mark.
Kipsang, the London Marathon champion running the New York race for the first time, ran shoulder to shoulder with Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia over the last few miles.
In the final half mile, Desisa snuck ahead of Kipsang, who turned on a final burst to claim victory. Continued...