LetsRun.com Analyzes The 2013 NYC Half

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We try to make sense of the today’s half-marathon in New York

by LetsRun.com
March 17, 2013

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New York,  NY – We wanted to give you some quick analysis of the 2013 NYC Half Marathon won by Wilson Kipsang and Caroline Rotich. Plus we have some post-race video coverage.

If you don’t know the results we’ve got results and splits here and you can read the messageboard thread on the race here.

If you don’t know what happened in the race click here for the Race Results Weekly Recap.

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Men’s Race

Quick Take (QT) #1: The cream rises to the top. Wilson Kipsang was by far the best runner in the field and he did what was expected of him- win. Winning his next race, the Virgin London Marathon, will be more difficult. Kipsang is the defending champion and arguably the top marathoner in the world, but he will be facing arguably the strongest men’s marathon field ever asssembled.

Don’t let the 61:02 time fool you into thinking he’s not in supreme shape. Kipsang ran his 2nd 10k today in 28:14 – that’s 59:33 pace (4th 5k was 14:00). The behind the scenes talk the last few days here has been that the world record could potentially fall in London and when we asked Kipsang about that, he didn’t shy away from that talk.

QT2: A strong run by American Dathan Ritzenhein. Ritz is a 1:00:00 half marathoner that got him bronze at the World Half Marathon Champs, but that was four years ago in 2009. A 1:01:10 here off of a slow/moderate opening pace for third is a good run. For reference, Ritz ran 1:01:52 for 15th here last year.

In an ideal world, Ritz, who was the runner-up at US cross this year, would be getting on a plane to compete for the US at the World XC Champs next weekend, but we don’t live in an ideal world.

QT3: American Jason Hartmann skipped the 1:02s and went from a 1:03:07 pr to 1:01:52. Pretty damn good for a guy who may not be in the sport after the Boston Marathon. And it’s not like Hartmann is new to the event. Hisprevious pr was from 2006.  In our pre-race talk to Hartmann, he said he still does not have a shoe sponsor despite finishing 4th at last year’s Boston Marathon and has not made any commitments to the sport beyond next month’s Boston Marathon. He’s a guy with nothing to lose and appears to be running better than ever. It will be interesting to see how Boston goes for him.

QT4: Bernard Lagat, Stephen Sambu, and Abdi Abdirahman all train together at various times in Tuscon. Not many casual fans would have predicted that Sambu would be the first runner in the group by nearly a minute – Sambu finished in 1:01:34, Lagat 1:02:33, and Abdi in 1:03:20 – considering Abdi and Bernard are both 4-time Olympians, but it doesn’t surprise us.

Sambu is 24 and ran 27:27 in 2011 and 13:13 last year.
Abdi is 36 and in the midst of marathon training.
Bernard is 38 and a 1500/5k runner.

Abdi actually seemed quite please post-race with his showing (see video below).

QT5: What to make of Bernard Lagat’s road racing/ half marathon debut? A solid showing, but there is no reason to think he’ll ever be world class at the half-marathon or the marathon, especially without more mileage. The more interesting angle for us, is how does this help (or hurt) Lagat on the track as he trains for the 5000m vs Mo Farah and Galen Rupp in Moscow. In our pre-race talk with Lagat, Lagat said his focus is still on the track and he was hoping more mileage would help him at the 5000m. We don’t see how it hurts him – either training wise and definitely not financially.

QT #6. Mexico’s Juan Luis Barrios was fifth on the men’s side in a new pb of 61:21 (previous pb 61:48). The 29-year old has been 7th and 8th in the last two Olympics in the 5000 even though his 5000 pb is just 13:09. In London, he was just one spot and .26 behind Galen Rupp in the 5000. His marathon pb is 2:14:10 from New York in 2011.

QT #7. 29-year old 2:13 marathoner Rob Watson of Canada had a tiny pr of 7-seconds top lace 16th in 63:22. We mention him because he had the early lead and without him the early pace might have been even slower than it was. He just went out and ran pretty even as his 5k splits were 15:03, 14:51, 14:59 and 15:07.

QT #8: Kenta Murayama was the top Japanese finisher in 10th in 62:02. The youngster who just turned 20 less than a month ago (Feb. 23rd) has a 13.1 pb of 61:19 which he ran as a 19 year old on Feb. 3rd. Super impressive for someone that young.

Wilson Kipsang on Winning the 2013 NYC Half  Dathan Ritzenhein’s Clips from the 2013 NYC Half 
Bernard Lagat and Abdi Abdirahman  Jason Hartmann After a Huge Pr, Heads to Boston 
Daniele Meucci After 2013 NYC Half 2nd Place 


Women’s Race

QT1: Caroline Rotich deserves credit for winning the race. She opened up a decent lead and appeared to be cruising to victory before being caught by Lisa Stublic and  Diane Nukuri-Johnson. Oftentimes, when the leader gets caught from behind in a longer distance race, it does not end well. Rotich composed herself and kicked away to the victory.

QT2: We hope Rotich’s victory once and for all ends the dumb notion that you so often hear on tv that a kick in a road-race comes down to has the most ‘track’ speed. The runner-up Nukuri-Johnson was third in the Meyo Mile indoors this year in 4:42.31. The IAAF bio for Caroline Rotich doens’t even list a 5k pr for her (Tilastapaja lists it at 15:54).

QT3: A big showing for Connecticut born and raised Lisa Stublic who was third. The former Columbia University runner who was 33rd at the 2005 NCAA cross country meet has really blossomed since having a ‘quarter-life crisis’ and moving to Croatia a few years ago where she learned the language and now trains and competes (2012 Olympian). She came in today with a 70:31 pb (2:30:31 marathon) but left with a 69:18 pb (another Croatian record) after contending for the win.

Stublic said afterwards that she was stunned to find herself in the lead pack of three late in the race as she came in hoping simply for a top 10 finish. Next up for her is the Zurich Marathon in three weeks. She had her goal before today had been 2:26-27 in Zurich but she might be lowering that to slightly faster after today’s performance (we think she said she thought she could run 69:30 today and surpassed that).

Diane Nukuri Johnson carried the flag for Burundi as a 15 year old at the 2000 Olympics, so she has been around a while. She was far from a world class then however as she was a 16 minute 5ker. This was by far her best performance to date and she is taking well to the longer distances.

QT #5: Nukuri Johnson and Stublic both set national records in 2nd and 3rd.  So did the Ukraine’s Lyudmila Kovalenko of the Ukraine in 5th and Yolanda Cabellero of Columbia in 7th. Cabellero’s time was also a South American record. The NYRR’s approach to race organization generally is to bring in runners from as many countries as possible instead of focussing on Kenya and Ethiopia.

QT #6: The top American finisher was Stephanie Rothstein Bruce who had a big pb of 70:53 to get 9th. Her previous pb was 72:19. That’s a good sign for Boston which she is running next month.

Caroline Rotich and Diane Nukuri-Johnson React after the 2013 NYC Half Marathona

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