Edna Kiplagat Completes Magical Year, Shalane Impresses
November 7, 2010
Sunday's ING NYC Marathon women's race, though slowly-paced, may mark a positive turning point for international elite women's marathoning, as fast-finishing new names occupied the Central Park winner's podium.
After a slow first 21 miles, things finally heated up on a chilly, breezy day in New York. With 8 km to go, 2 Kenyans - LA Marathon champion and 2010 US road-race circuit stalwart Edna Kiplagat and half marathon ace and marathon debutante Mary Keitany - joined American marathon debutante Shalane Flanagan in breaking away from a huge women's pack of 15.
Flanagan gave American fans a lot to cheer for, as she put up a strong fight for the win, taking the lead at times in miles 21-24 before dropping back to third. Edna Kiplagat made the decisive move in mile 25 with Keitany in tow, but Shalane battled back to overtake Keitany and earn the runner-up position and the $65,000 (ING NYC 2nd-place prize) + $40,000 (USATF Championship prize) prize purse.
For ING NYC Race Director Mary Wittenberg, 2010 marked a significant improvement in terms of the depth of the women's field and injection of interesting new women's marathoning talent. Each of the four returning top 5 women's finishers from 2009 finished well back in today's field (Christelle Daunay was the first of the 4 to finish in 6th), surpassed by three first-time marathon major podium finishers with big-time credentials in shorter distances. In 2009, much of the women's elite budget went to securing Paula Radcliffe, who ended up finishing in tears with an injury, eerily similar to Haile Gebrselassie this year. In 2010, there was a more even spread of talent on the women's side including some interesting new names.
|How 2009 Top 5 Fared In 2010|
|1. Derartu Tulu (14th)
2. Ludmila Petrova (7th)
3. Christelle Daunay (6th)
4. Paula Radcliffe (DNS)
5. Salina Kosgei (16th)
Fans of the sport shouldn't be too surprised to see the fastest, sharpest young marathoners wearing the medals at the end of this slowly-paced race. Much like first-time World Marathon Major winner Gebre Gebremariam on the men's side, NYC champion Kiplagat took an unusual path to New York, tearing up the roads this summer in preparation for a November marathon date, rather than training in seclusion and racing a more limited schedule. Kiplagat finished in the top 3 at Boilermaker (1st), Steamboat (1st), Freihofer's (2nd), Peachtree (3rd), Beach to Beacon (3rd) and Falmouth (3rd), after winning the L.A. Marathon and $145,000 this spring. Also coming from a speed background, Shalane is a World Championships medallist and American record holder at 10,000m. Keitany has run 67:15 or faster in the half marathon on a handful of occasions in the past 18 months and is known almost exclusively for her prodigious talents at the 13.1 distance.
It may not be easy to predict the future marathon success of the top 3 as they didn't defeat the rest of the field by wide margins. In perhaps the stat of the day, the top 10 women finished within 95 seconds of each other. That is unheard of in marathoning and even more unheard of in women's marathoning. (The top 10 at the NYRR Mini 10k this year were separated by nearly 1:55). The time gap from Kim Smith in 5th and Katie McGregor (US #2) in 11th was only 33 seconds (see top 35 results below).
|Kiplagat's Winning Splits|
|Mile 23 - 5:13
Mile 24 - 5:32
Mile 25 - 5:11 (pulls away)
Mile 26 - 5:18
Kiplagat Excited - Plans To Use Big Earnings For Good Purposes In Kenya
When asked after the race what she was thinking about as she pulled away, Edna Kiplagat said simply, "Being excited." After a year in which she has earned in the neighborhood of $300,000 in prize money alone, Kiplagat said, "There are some plans so that whatever I [earn] will be used in a good way." Kiplagat seems to be not only deceptively speedy, outrunning two highly-credentialed track and road runners at the end of a slow race, but like 2009 ING NYC Champ Derartu Tulu, is an understated woman champion who plans to use her financial success to help her home community.
Shalane - A Promising Debut In A Perfectly Set-Up Race, Looking Towards London 2012 Oly Marathon?
Shalane Flanagan was very upbeat after her first marathon, thanking Wittenberg and her coach Jerry Schumacher for giving her the opportunity and the training to compete so well in her first marathon. Flanagan, like Kiplagat and Keitany, was probably spoiled by such a dawdling pace that at times left her feeling "like we were jogging." After fearing the toughness of the 5-Borough course, on Sunday Flanagan said the only bad part of the race for her came quite late. "That point-2 got me," Flanagan said, referring to the .2 on the end of 26.2 miles, "Other than that it was not that hard."
When asked what event she now sees herself running in London 2012, Shalane said the upcoming track season will have an influence, but certainly hinted towards the longer distance when she said, "my passion for the marathon is very high after today." To read more Flanagan quotes, including a description of her 12-week training build-up to New York, click here.
Disappointed - Yamauchi, Pushkareva, Erkesso, Kosgei And Tulu
Finishing spots 12-16 were filled by 2010 and 2009 Boston champs Teyba Erkesso and Salina Kosgei, surprise 2010 Boston runner-up Tatyana Pushkareva, Britain's "post-Paula" hope Mara Yamauchi (2009 London runner-up) and 2009 ING NYC champion Derartu Tulu. These women didn't have the speed to finish within 150 seconds of Kiplagat and company over the final 5 miles, giving up almost 30 seconds a mile to the new faces in the top 3 and perhaps signaling a changing of the guard at the top of women's elite marathoning, where fast-closing Russian Lilya Shobukhova is clearly the top performer of the last 18 months.
US Performances - Shalane, McGregor, Followed By Debut Top 5ers
Behind big names Shalane Flanagan (debut 2:28) and Katie McGregor (2:31:01 PR) on the US marathon championship ledger came Kathy Newberry (debut 2:35, 17th), Serena Burla (debut 2:37, 19th, she had a malignant tumor removed from her leg earlier this year) and Alissa McKaig (debut 2:37, 20th).
Top Women's Finishers - 2010 ING NYC Marathon