On unusual warm weather for the annual TCS New York City Marathon, Kenya’s Evans Chebet surged at around the 25km point, and no one else in the group of chasers could go with him. At 32km, he ran past the Brazilian runner who was already lying on the ground –suffering the result of a blistering pace he had set earlier in the race- and proceeded to win the race in 2:08:41. Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata finished second in 2:08:54 while Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands was third in 2:10:31.
This was the second World Marathon Majors victory for Chebet after he had won the Boston Marathon in April. The win also ensured that Kenyan men won all the World Marathon Majors, with Eliud Kipchoge winning Tokyo -where he and Brigid Kosgei ran historic times to win the 2022 Tokyo Marathon- and Berlin, Amos Kipruto winning London and Benson Kipruto winning the Chicago Marathon.
“The Boston Marathon course was tough and prepared me to run well here today. I think Boston is tougher than New York,” Chebet said after his victory.
Daniel Do Nascimento of Brazil had broken away from the elite field earlier in the race and crossed the 10km point in 28:42. The rest of the group came in at 30:09. As the commentator wondered aloud whether they were getting any information about the growing gap on the leader, Chebet had increased the pace. The pack began to stretch as they realized they had an opening to close. But still, Nascimento was not appearing on the horizon.
Nascimento crossed the halfway point in 1:01:22, with the gap on the chasers being two minutes and thirteen seconds.
Albert Korir pushed the pace ahead of the chasers as they approached the 24km mark and Abdi Nageeye stuck just behind him despite him doing some zigzag running in an attempt to drop him behind. On the other side of the road, Chebet also made a move, and as he overtook them, Abdi quickly left the side of Korir and followed him, but not for long. Chebet was soon a lone runner running after the Brazilian.
At 25km, Chebet had reduced the gap on Nascimento by one second. Then, as he approached 29K, Nascimento had to take a break to visit a portable toilet, which allowed Chebet to reduce the gap by another minute or so as he crossed the 30K mark in 1:030:17.
At 32km, Nascimento wobbled to the side of the road and fell, and Chebet ran past him shortly after the incident.
It was a double victory for Kenya as Sharon Lokedi also won the women’s race in her marathon debut after holding off Israeli Lonah Salpeter to win the race in 2:23:23. Salpeter ran 2:23:30 for second place ahead of Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreselase who finished 3rd in 2:23:39.
Lokedi could hardly believe it was real as she crossed the finish line to be crowned the 2022 New York City Marathon champion.
“I am out of words. I’m really excited. I am just so happy that...you know, I just won!” Lokedi exclaimed after the race.
Being her debut, it came as a surprise, not only to her but to fans worldwide who were expecting the title to go to the more decorated runners with more significant titles under their names. But, it was the one-time NCAA champion who would emerge victorious.
Lokedi had been patient throughout the race and was even contented to let the trio of Hellen Obiri, Viola Cheptoo and Gotytom Gebreselase break away after they had crossed the halfway point in 1:12:17. Perhaps, ready to let the first three positions slip away and that any top-five finish would have been good enough for her. But at around 32km, Lokedi and Lonah Salpeter rejoined the three before they crossed the 35km mark in 1:59:12.
As the race progressed, Salpeter pushed the pace at the front, and Lokedi suddenly found herself alone behind the leader. For a while, she was contented to follow. Then, like someone trying to pinch herself to confirm that it was not just a dream, Lokedi overtook Salpeter and the latter did nothing to resist the move.
The final stages of the race became very exciting as Lokedi, who was slightly ahead, kept glancing behind her shoulder to check on Salpeter, who seemed to be drawing some encouragement from those glances knowing the lack of marathon experience from the current leader, was not letting the gap between them to grow.
As she struggled to tackle the last slope before the finish line, it was as though Lokedi was expecting Salpeter to come and run past her any moment. It was a sweet surprise when she finally cut the tape six seconds ahead of her rival.