Priscah Jeptoo Comes From Behind to Win 2013 ING New York City Marathon and $625,000

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By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
November 3, 2013

NEW YORK (03-Nov) — For the third time in race history, Kenya swept both the men’s and women’s titles here at the 43rd running of the ING New York City Marathon. Priscah Jeptoo came from far behind to earn the women’s title in 2:25:07, securing the 2012/2013 World Marathon Majors title in the process, while Geoffrey Mutai successfully defended his men’s crown in 2:08:24.

Women’s recap below. Men’s recap here.


Executing a flawless –but risky– come-from-behind race, Jeptoo crossed the ING New York City Marathon finish line here with a big smile. Not only did Jeptoo become Kenya’s seventh champion in race history; she also earned a hefty $500,000 bonus as winner of the 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors series. Her opponent in the two-year points race, Edna Kiplagat, finished a distant ninth.

“This is a great moment for me and a day I will not forget for the rest of my life,” Jeptoo told members of the media following her win.

Priscah Jeptoo 2013 ING NYC Marathon Champion

Priscah Jeptoo 2013 ING NYC Marathon Champion

In order to take both titles, Jeptoo would have to work very hard to catch early leaders Buzunesh Deba and Tigist Tufa. Deba and Tufa –both natives of Ethiopia now living in New York– took control of the pace while still on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, just as they had planned.

Together, the pair would run through 10 kilometers in 34:44 and ten miles in 55:18, despite strong winds. At halfway (1:12:38), their lead over the chase pack and Jeptoo was a whopping three minutes and 23 seconds.

It was while crossing the Queensboro Bridge (25-K) that Jeptoo had had enough. When a bicyclist said that the leaders were more than three minutes in front, the Kenyan decided it was time to go.

“He came and told me that you are behind three minutes. I realized that three minutes is almost one kilometer, so I started to push the pace,” she said. “I knew, and I was having confidence that I will make it.”

Mile by mile, Jeptoo began to reel in Deba and Tufa all by herself. From miles 16 through 19, Jeptoo cut a minute and ten seconds out of the lead.

Gradually the Ethiopian tandem came into view. By the 35-kilometer checkpoint, Deba’s lead over Jeptoo had dwindled to 45 seconds. A kilometer later Jeptoo found herself in second and ready to pounce.

Priscah Jeptoo Catches Buzunesh Deba

Priscah Jeptoo Catches Buzunesh Deba

As Jeptoo was quickening, Deba was hurting. The 26-year-old had been struggling with stomach cramps, and feared the inevitable was coming. Looking back multiple times, Deba saw Jeptoo fast approaching.

The swift pass came with 2:13:00 on the clock with under 2.5 miles remaining. Deba tried to respond, but simply couldn’t.

“I tried to, but I was sick badly, a cramp,” Deba said.

After passing Deba, Jeptoo ran alone. Continuing her lanky, kick out running style over the final miles, legs seemingly pinwheeling under her, the 29-year-old broke the tape in Central Park in 2:25:07. She earned $625,000 in prize money and bonuses.

“I was very, very happy when I saw that I reached to the finish line when I am a winner, because I use a lot of energy chasing the leading group,” Jeptoo said.

Deba held on for second place in 2:25:56, her second consecutive runner-up placing. Rounding out the top three in 2:27:47 was two-time race champion Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia.

Adriana Nelson of Boulder, Colo., was the top American, 13th in 2:35:05.

Among other notable finishers were New Zealand’s Kim Smith in sixth (2:28:49), early leader Tufa eighth (2:29:24), and defending champion Firehiwot Dado in 14th (2:38:06).

Top Results

1103Priscah JeptooKEN292:25:07+00:005:33
2104Buzunesh DebaETH262:25:56+00:495:35
3107Jelena ProkopcukaLAT372:27:47+02:415:39
4106Christelle DaunayFRA382:28:14+03:085:40
5105Valeria StraneoITA372:28:22+03:165:40
6110Kim SmithNZL312:28:49+03:435:41
7112Sabrina MockenhauptGER322:29:10+04:045:42
8134Tigist Tufa DemisseETH262:29:24+04:185:43
9102Edna KiplagatKEN342:30:04+04:585:44
10117Diane Nukuri-JohnsonBDI282:30:09+05:035:44
11108Risa ShigetomoJPN262:31:54+06:475:48
12114Lisa StublicCRO292:34:49+09:435:55
13119Adriana NelsonCO/USA332:35:05+09:595:56
14101Firehiwot DadoETH292:38:06+13:006:03
15127Katie DiCamilloRI/USA262:40:03+14:576:07
16122Aziza AliyuETH282:40:27+15:216:08
17126Mattie SuverCO/USA262:41:18+16:126:10
18115Yolanda CaballeroCOL312:41:23+16:176:10
19116Amy HastingsRI/USA292:42:50+17:446:13
20128Danna Kelly HerrickIA/USA272:44:19+19:136:17

*Men’s recap
*More results

*  *  *  *  *

Although final finisher totals will not be known until tomorrow, the New York Road Runners reported that 50,740 runners started the race making it the largest marathon in history.