Mary Keitany Three-Peats in Dominant Fashion in New York, Wins by Monstrous 3:35

November 6, 2016

NEW YORK —Perhaps next year they should save everyone some time and effort and just hand Mary Keitany the laurel wreath before the TCS New York City Marathon starts. On Sunday, Keitany became the first woman in 30 years to win three consecutive NYC Marathons, dropping most of the field by the halfway mark and seeing off her final rival, fellow Kenyan Joyce Chepkirui, with a 5:18 15th mile to win in 2:24:26. Before a single step had even been run Manhattan, the outcome had already been decided.

That’s a lot earlier than Keitany pulled away in her previous victories in 2015 (mile 22) or 2014 (final 400 meters), but Keitany had a statement to make in 2016, confirming the foolishness of the Kenyan selectors who left her off this summer’s Olympic team. Keitany won by a monstrous 3:35, the largest margin of victory since 1984. This was dominance in its purest form.

Keitany ran a negative split (72:39/71:47) and with someone to push her may have been able to give the course record (2:22:31) a scare; she was on 2:22 pace as late as 20 miles. But with a massive lead, Keitany slowed in the final miles and had to “settle” for a 2:24.

In her marathon debut, American 10,000 record holder Molly Huddle finished 3rd in 2:28:13  (73:32 1st half) after running most of the last 16 miles alone. Huddle stayed with the leaders for 9 miles, but despite running a 5:12 10th mile (and 5:26 9th mile – her 2nd fastest of the day), she got dropped as Keitany ran a 5:06 10th mile. Two-time Olympian Kim Conley had a harder time in her marathon debut as she was 16th in 2:41:38. Olympic triathlon champ Gwen Jorgensen was 14th, running 2:41:01.

Results, analysis and interviews below.

Live blow by blow of race here.

Article continues below player.

Top 10 results below. More results here.

1 101 Mary Keitany KEN 2:24:26 +00:00.00 2:24:26 5:31
2 108 Sally Kipyego KEN 2:28:01 +03:34.98 2:28:01 5:39
3 111 Molly Huddle USA 2:28:13 +03:46.82 2:28:13 5:40
4 104 Joyce Chepkirui KEN 2:29:08 +04:42.12 2:29:08 5:42
5 106 Diane Nukuri BDI 2:33:04 +08:38.23 2:33:04 5:51
6 102 Aselefech Mergia ETH 2:33:28 +09:01.53 2:33:28 5:52
7 110 Lanni Marchant CAN 2:33:50 +09:24.05 2:33:50 5:53
8 115 Neely Gracey USA 2:34:55 +10:29.27 2:34:55 5:55
9 109 Sara Hall USA 2:36:12 +11:46.15 2:36:12 5:58
10 121 Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam ETH 2:37:07 +12:40.91 2:37:07 6:00

As expected, Marty Keitany was utterly dominant

Entering the race, we thought Huddle had a legitimate chance to win, but the #1 thing that had to happen for an upset win was for Keitany to run poorly. Unfortunately for Huddle (and everyone else in the field), Keitany rarely does that and she was brilliant today. There’s really not much else to say. When Keitany is on her game, there are few women in the world capable of beating her.

Today’s run also confirmed that Athletics Kenya made a huge mistake in leading Keitany off their Olympic marathon team. We would have loved to see Keitany and Jemima Sumgong duke it out in Rio this summer.

Ray Treacy was very satisfied with the way Molly Huddle closed her first marathon today and thinks a low 2:20s lies in her future.

“It’s pretty exciting. I think she managed the race very well. I thought her last four miles were very impressive. That was encouraging to see that in her first marathon she could handle it as well as she did with the limited preparation that she had,” said Huddle’s coach Ray Treacy, who added that his pre-race advice to Huddle was not to run under 5:30 on any mile unless she absolutely had to stay with the leaders.

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Treacy had good reason to praise Huddle’s close. The stats actually reveal that no one in the women’s race was faster over the last 5.2 miles of the race.

Mile Keitany Huddle Kipyego
20th MILE 5:33 5:46 5:48
21st MILE 5:30 5:54 5:53
22nd MILE 5:32 5:38 5:44
23rd MILE 5:34 5:42 5:45
24th MILE 5:44 5:44 5:45
25th MILE 5:49 5:51 5:52
26th MILE 5:59 5:43 5:50
Final .2 to 26.2 1:17 1:04 1:02

When asked what type of time Huddle was capable of down the road on a fast course, Treacy responded:

“I think that anyone that can run low 30 minutes for 10k should be looking at low 2:20. I’d be very disappointed if she couldn’t run in that range in the marathon especially after seeing how she handled the marathon today – that’s not a worry anymore.

“We will be looking to go close to 2:20 in the next couple of races.”

Off camera, Treacy told us he thought Huddle could run a 30:40 10,000 right now.

MB:  Ray Treacy was thrilled with Huddle’s debut – “We will be looking to go close to 2:20 in the next couple of races.”

Sally Kipyego turned a disastrous debut in New York 12 months ago into a terrific race today

Kipyego dropped out last year after hanging with the leaders for 20 miles, but this time she made it the whole way and wound up second — about as good as could be expected given Keitany’s superiority. Kipyego said that even though she didn’t finish last year, her experience in the race paid dividends today.

“Just because you feel good for 20 miles doesn’t really mean that much really in a marathon,” Kipyego said. “You need to be able to survive the whole 26.2 miles. So I think I respected the course, and if you saw how I raced today, I held back a lot, and I didn’t go, and I stayed with — ran within myself. I think that was the greatest gift that came out of last year. It was a disappointing experience for me last year, but I learned a lot, and I think I ran well today because I had that experience last year.

Neely Gracey PR’d today but it was by no means easy

In her marathon debut in Boston in April, Neely Spence Gracey ran a conservative race to ensure that she’d finish strong and want to continue as a marathoner.

Today, Gracey ran a much more aggressive race. In the end, the times were virtually the same (2:35:00 in Boston and 2:34:55 today in New York) but they were run totally differently. In Boston, Gracey ran the 5k from 35k to 40k in 17:51 and her final 7.2 km in 25:36. Today Spence Gracey ran the 5k from 35k to 40k in 19:38 and her final 7.2 km in 29:02.

“It was brutal. I really fell apart the last 5k but I’m really proud of hanging in there. It got really tough,” said Gracey. “But I’m happy I made it to the finish… I’m proud of what I did.”

Sara Hall now knows first-hand how tough the NYC course is

Hall finished a respectable 9th in 2:36:12, but don’t read into the time too much as they were slow across the board in the women’s race.

“That time does not sound fast to me, but that course was very challenging,” Hall said. “I mean I knew it was going to be challenging, but it was even more than I thought it would be.”

Hall has now completed four marathons since debuting last year, and though she had a couple rough ones in the heat of Los Angeles (2:48 last year, DNF at the Trials in February), she’s proven to be a consistent top-10 threat at WMM events as she was 10th in Chicago last year, 12th in London in April and now 9th today.

Olympic triathlon champ Gwen Jorgensen wasn’t pleased with her race, but 14th place off of mostly triathlon training is pretty darn good

Jorgensen clocked 2:41:01 today for 14th, and said that while she was okay cardiovascularly, her muscles became very sore during the race and will probably remain sore for several days. That makes sense, considering Jorgensen had never raced over 10 miles and was coming into the race off of only 40-50 miles per week of running. Jorgensen’s a competitor, however, and though she didn’t have any expectations for today, she wasn’t satisfied.

“I don’t know what I would have been happy with, but I’m not happy with that race,” Jorgensen said. “It was really hard out there. My muscles got really sore.”

Jorgensen still managed to collect a few nice running scalps out there today. She finished 37 seconds ahead of two-time Olympian Kim Conley and over seven minutes ahead of Olympic Marathon Trials 5th placer Janet Bawcom.

Jorgensen’s next challenge: getting pregnant. She and her husband have started trying, though they’ve been unsuccessful through one month.

Talk about the 2016 NYC Marathon on our messageboard:

Men’s Race Recap: LRC Ghirmay Ghebreslassie Wins, Abdi Abdirahman of the US Third With Five Americans in Top 10 Age may be just a number as Abdi had a career-best finish at age 39!! Ritz was a DNF.

Mary Keitany Wins NYC 2016 Mary Keitany Wins NYC 2016
The police were often the only ones with Keitany The police were often the only ones with Keitany
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