Mary Keitany Repeats as 2015 TCS NYC Marathon Champion as Laura Thweatt Runs 2:28:23 Debut

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November 1, 2015

NEW YORK — Mary Keitany of Kenya repeated as the TCS New York City Marathon champion, winning the 2015 edition of the race in 2:24:25 after pulling away from Virgin Money London Marathon champ Tigist Tufa during the 22nd mile and cruising to a 1-minute-and-6-second victory over Aselefech Mergia, who would move up for second over the final mile.

Nine women, including American Laura Thweatt, went though halfway in 1:12:54. The pack would largely stay together until mile 19 when Keitany began to open things up. By mile 20 the women’s pack was down to four (Keitany, Tufa, Mergia and Priscah Jeptoo).

A 5:14 21st mile made it a rematch of London as Keitany and Tufa were clear of the field. Keitany kept the hammer down and a 5:14 22nd mile and a 5:15 23rd mile gave her a 45-second lead. The win was Keitany’s barring a disaster which never occurred. She cruised to victory despite only running a 5:40 26th mile.

While Keitany set out on her own up front, the battle for second was heating up. At 24 miles Aselefech Mergia was in 5th, 19 seconds back of Tufa in 2nd. By 25 miles, she had cut the gap to 9 seconds. Mergia ran the fastest final mile of the race, a 5:22 26th mile, while Tufa faded to 5:45 and second place was Mergia’s. Tufa held on to third, three seconds up of Sara Moreira of Portgul in 4th and Christelle Daunay of France was 5th. American Laura Thweatt of the USA was 7th in a very impressive 2:28:23 debut and could be a serious contender at the US Olympic Marathon Trials, but she has said that she will not run them.

Laura Thweatt After Marathon Debut

Laura Thweatt After Marathon Debut

She told ABC7 after the race, “I defintiely got what I wanted out of it today….It’s a grind, 26 miles, it’s a lot of time to experience the highs and lows.”

18-year-old college freshman Alana Hadley had to stop on the course with an ankle issue during the race and would drop out after 21 miles. Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Sally Kipyego was with the lead pack through close to 20 miles and would drop out after 40k.

QT #1: Keitany Turns Tables on Tufa and Takes WMM Lead

At the Virgin London Marathon this year, Tigist Tufa ran a 5:05 24th mile and a 5:07 25th mile to run away from Mary Keitany to get the win.

Today was Mary Keitany’s day as she was totally dominant the final miles before slowing to 5:40 the final mile with the race in hand. Keitany remains one of the world’s best and is hoping for selection for the Kenyan Olympic team. Keitany with the win also moved into a tie atop the Abbott World Marathon Major (WMM) standings with Mare Dibaba with the Tokyo Marathon next year the final race in the series which has a $500,000 first place prize and $0 for 2nd (both Keitany and Dibaba have a win and a second place; only two races can count in the WMM.)

There will be a huge incentive for someone who has won one World Marathon Major in the last year to run Tokyo in 2016 and try to win the $500,000 WMM prize. Otherwise the tiebreaker is a vote of the WMM race directors and both Dibaba and Keitany have one win and one second place (Dibaba won Worlds and was 2nd in Boston).

QT #2: Laura Thweatt Impresses in Debut and will NOT Run US Olympic Marathon Trials (separate article here)

Thweatt had an impressive dominant win at US Cross this past February, but that wasn’t on the sports greatest stage. After her debut today, she said she would NOT run the Olympic Marathon Trials and focus on making the Olympic team on the track. We have an interview with Thweatt, and analyze her run in depth in a separate article here.

More: MB: Official 2015 TCS New York City Marathon Live Discussion Thread

Top Results

1101Mary Keitany02:24:25KenyaKEN
2109Aselefech Mergia02:25:32EthiopiaETH
3105Tigist Tufa02:25:50EthiopiaETH
4103Sara Moreira02:25:53PortugalPOR
5111Christelle Daunay02:26:57FranceFRA
6108Priscah Jeptoo02:27:03KenyaKEN
7115Laura Thweatt02:28:23COUnited StatesUSA
8104Jelena Prokopcuka02:28:46LatviaLAT
9112Anna Incerti02:33:13ItalyITA
10102Caroline Rotich02:33:19NMUnited StatesKEN
11120Cassie Fien02:38:53AustraliaAUS
12124Teresa McWalters02:40:37CAUnited StatesUSA
13117Marisol Romero02:41:50MexicoMEX
14121Beverly Ramos02:41:56PRUnited StatesPRI
15116Changqin Ding02:44:02GuizhouChinaCHN
16119Caroline Wostmann02:44:26GautengSouth AfricaRSA
17140Hilary Corno02:45:53CAUnited StatesUSA

Leader Splits

55 degrees at start


Mile 1: 5:58
Mile 2: 5:14 (11:12)
Mile 3: 5:36 (16:48)
5K: 17:21 Moreira, Daunay and Fien have been doing the work up front
Mile 4: 5:32 ( 22:20 )
Mile 5: 5:28 (27:48)
Mile 6: 5:29 (33:17)
10K: 34:27 (17:06)
Mile 7: 5:40 (38:57) Deba back up with the leaders too. Prokopcuka at the back so she’s there too)
Mile 8: 5:40 (44:37) Moreira keeps leading but they’re not going that fast
Mile 9: 5:35 (50:12) Lead pack down to 10
15K: 51:55 (17:28)
Mile 10: 5:27 (55:39)
Mile 11: 5:35 (1:01:14) Lead pack still at 10. Thweatt is visibly working to stay up there.
Mile 12: 5:27 (1:06:41) Ding dropped in mile 13. Down to 9
20K: 1:09:03 (17:08)
Mile 13: 5:37 (1:12:18)
HM: 1:12:54 Nine in lead pack. Buzunesh Deba has stopped running.
Mile 14: 5:34 (1:17:52)
Mile 15: 5:36 (1:23:28)
25km: 1:26:39 (17:36) Daunay of France has been dropped
Mile 16: 5:38 (1:29:06) Leaders down to 9 with Daunay off the back.
Mile 17: 5:27 (1:34:33) Daunay has caught them again
Mile 18: 5:25 (1:39:58)
30K: 1:43:31 (16:52)
Mile 19: 5:29 (1:45:27) Move in women’s race. Only 5 in lead pack.Keitany leading it, Tufa behind, then Mergia, Jeptoo, Moreira. Others, including Thweatt, are dropping back.
Mile 20: 5:22 (1:50:49). Moreira dropped. It’s down to four– Keitany and Tufa in the front, Jeptoo and Mergia at the back.
Mile 21: 5:14 (1:56:03) Keitany and Tufa dropping Jeptoo and Mergia. This is playing out similar to London. Jeptoo fighting back to try to hold on, she’s only a few meters back but Mergia is dropped. But by 21 miles, she can’t hold on. It’s down to two.
35km – 16:24 (1:59:55)
Mile 22: 5:13 (2:01:16)Keitany makes her bid during mile 22. She gets a gap on Tufa. Within a minute, she has a lead of about 30 meters and it’s growing.
Mile 23: 5:15 (2:06:31) Her lead is 45 seconds. Wow.
Mile 24: 5:32 (2:12:03)
Mile 25: 5:25 (2:17:27)
Mile 26: 5:13 for Keitany