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Tamirat Tola sets new NYC marathon record for men's race

From left, second place finisher Albert Korir of Kenya, first place finisher Tamirat Tola, of Ethiopia, and third place finisher Shura Kitata, also from Ethiopia, pose after the men's division of the New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Craig Ruttle
/
AP
From left, second place finisher Albert Korir of Kenya, first place finisher Tamirat Tola, of Ethiopia, and third place finisher Shura Kitata, also from Ethiopia, pose after the men's division of the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

Tamirat Tola won the men's race in the New York City marathon, breaking the all-time record for the course.

The Ethiopian runner finished the 26.2-mile race through five boroughs in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 58 seconds on Sunday topping the previous mark of 2:05.06 set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011.

"The people of New York is amazing to give me moral support every kilometer," Tola said, according to The Associated Press. "I'm not thinking about a lot. I'm thinking to win. So, this is nice."

Tola won the bronze medal in the10,000 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Kenyan Albert Korir, who won the marathon in 2021, came in second, almost 2 minutes behind.

Hellen Obiri of Kenya surged ahead of the competition in the uphill final stretch to win the women's title. She placed first with a time of 2:27:23, outrunning Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey by 6 seconds.

"My first debut here was terrible for me, and I say like I don't want to come back here next year," Obiri told the AP. "After that, I said, 'Wow, I'm here again.' So, you know, sometimes you learn from your mistakes."

Obiri, who won the Boston Marathon in April, is the first to win both races in the same year since Norwegian Ingrid Kristiansen did it in 1989, according to the wire service.

Despite the impressive field and mild weather, hopes of a record-breaking year for the women didn't bear out. Margaret Okayo's course record of 2:22:31 from 2003 still stands.

Hellen Obiri of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the women's division of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, in New York.
Craig Ruttle / AP
/
AP
Hellen Obiri of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the women's division of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, in New York.

Americans Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle took turns fronting the lead pack of 11 women runners for much of the race, the AP noted, before the two ended in eighth and ninth respectively.

"The first 20 miles, I was like what the heck was going on," Taylor told the AP. "It was super weird, one of the weirdest races I ever ran with the caliber of talent in the field. There were talks of breaking the course record and doing all the things; after a bit it was like that's not going to happen. We're running six-minute pace for no good reasons. Sometimes that's how races play out. You can jump on board and do that or do your own thing. Today I just decided to jump onboard and try and hang on."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Emma Bowman