Kenya’s Sharon Lokedi was the surprise winner of the women’s New York City Marathon on Sunday, beating Evans Chebet in the men’s to complete the Kenyan duo.
Lokedi, competing over the 26.2km distance for the first time in her career, pulled away from Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter in the closing stages, finishing in a time of two hours, 23 minutes and 23 seconds.
Salpeter was seven seconds behind in second place and Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase, who was this year’s marathon world champion, was third.
Hellen Obiri, making her marathon debut and one of the pre-race favourites, struggled in the closing stages and fell back from the lead group, eventually finishing sixth.
The 28-year-old Lokedi became the eighth athlete in history – male or female – to win his New York City marathon debut, and appeared emotional after crossing the finish line in Central Park.
“I’m speechless, I’m so excited… The course was amazing, the encouragement, everything,” he told ESPN. “I’m just thankful”
In the men’s race, Chebet became the first man since 2011 to win the New York and Boston marathons in the same year, finishing in two hours, eight minutes and 41 seconds, 13 seconds ahead of Shura Kitata of Ethiopia, and the Netherlands. Abdi Nageeye was more than a minute behind in third place.
Chebet’s victory means Kenyan men have won six of the city’s top marathons this year. In addition to Chebet’s title in Boston, Eliud Kipchoge won in Tokyo and Berlin, Amos Kipruto in London and Benson Kipruto in Chicago.
Conditions were tough for Sunday’s race, with temperatures in New York hovering around 23 degrees Celsius (73 Fahrenheit).
Brazil’s Daniel Do Nascimento was in the field for much of the men’s race, but fell to the ground and received medical attention in the closing stages, handing Chebet the lead.
Race officials later told CNN that Do Nascimento was fine after leaving the race.
An estimated 50,000 runners are expected to compete in this year’s NYC Marathon – the first race at full capacity since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The race that passes through the five boroughs of New York was almost held in 2020 and in 2021 with a limited number of competitors.
In the men’s race in the wheelchair division, Marcel Hug of Switzerland won his career NYC Marathon men’s title.
The 36-year-old – known as the ‘Swiss Silver Bullet’ – broke the wheelchair course record by nearly four minutes, finishing in one hour, 25 minutes and 25 seconds.
This surpassed the record of 1:29:22 set by Australian Kurt Fearnley in 2006.
American Susannah Scaroni also set a record in the women’s race, finishing in 1 hour, 42 minutes and 43 seconds to break Tatyana McFadden’s previous record.