New York City’s annual tradition didn’t disappoint this year, as a man from Kenya and a woman from Ethiopia won their respective divisions Sunday in the ING New York City Marathon, with Geoffrey Mutai setting a new course record — cutting nearly three minutes from the previous one.
Mutai broke the old record of 2:07:43 set by Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Jifar in 2001.
Mutai captured the 2011 New York City Marathon in 2 hours 5 minutes 6 seconds — and the stampede did not stop when he broke the tape. His countryman Emmanuel Mutai, 27 and no relation, finished second in 2:06:28. Tsegaye Kebede, 24, of Ethiopia finished third in 2:07:14.
The official margin of victory, 1:22.31, was the largest in the race since 1992.
The three men each earned a $70,000 bonus for breaking the course record (2:07:43, set by Tesfaye Jifar of Ethiopia in 2001). Emmanuel Mutai collected an additional $500,000 for winning the World Marathon Majors with his strong performances over the last two years. Geoffrey Mutai won a total of $200,000 for his victory and the record run on a day in which an event-record 47,438 competitors started.
Firehiwot Dado, 27, won the women’s division in her first running of New York’s marathon, with a time of 2:23:15, the website said.
The highest finishing American man, Meb Keflezighi, took sixth place, with a time of 2:09:13.
Mutai, 30, also won the Boston Marathon in April, with a world record time of 2:03:02. That record is not recognized internationally, however, as the day’s strong tailwinds and the course’s incline drops fall outside of the International Association of Athletics Federations’ record-setting regulations.
This was Dado’s first major marathon victory, though she previously has won four other marathons. Dado surged past pre-race favorite Mary Keitany in the final mile. Buzunesh Deba, originally from Ethiopia but now living in New York, finished second in the women’s division at 2:23:19. Keitany finished third with a time of 2:23:38. Molly Pritz, the highest-finishing American woman, came in 12th place with a time of 2:31:52.
Masazumi Soejima from Japan won the wheelchair division, with a time of 1:31:41, while Italy’s Alessandro Zanardi’s time of 1:13:58 propelled him to first place in the handcycle division. More than 200 wheelchair and handcycle athletes participated in this year’s marathon.
CNN has learned that a 30-year-old male runner collapsed of cardiac arrest and was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital.
The annual event has come a long way since the first race in 1970. Only 127 runners participated then, with 55 finishing the race that looped within Central Park. This year’s race had 47,107 entrants. The race expanded to the city’s five boroughs in 1976. The wheelchair and handcycle divisions were added in 2000.