With a one-year delay, the New York City Marathon was able to celebrate its 50th anniversary on November 7, 2021.
What began in 1970 with 127 participants, including 55 finishers, has become the largest marathon event in the world in more than five decades. This is because normally more than 50,000 athletes now successfully finish the New York Marathon each year.
The route at the New York Marathon
The route went from Forth Wadsworth through the most beautiful parts of the city. So the athletes got to see the Queensboro Bridge, Central Park and Columbus Circle, among others. The Guggenheim Musuem and the Madison Avenue Bridge were also part of the beautiful route, for which the athletes had six and a half hours. This year there was a reduced field of 33,000 runners. However, due to travel restrictions, there were still several thousand fewer runners at the start.
Who will win the 50th marathon in the Big Apple?
The focus of the race was, of course, the top runners. After all, it was all about winning the big anniversary edition. Two years ago, two former world record holders in the half marathon distance, Kenyans Joyciline Jepkosgei and Geoffrey Kamworor, won the last edition. Jepkosgei ran a commanding 2:22:38 hours to win two years ago, while Geoffrey Kamworor had a 23-second lead over the first runner-up after 2:08:13 hours. Jepkosgei missed the course record by only seven seconds. The record has been held for 18 years by Margaret Okayo (2:22:31 hours), another athlete from Kenya. And in the men's race, Geoffrey Kiprono Mutai, a runner from Kenya, also achieved the fastest time ever in New York. He ran an outstanding 2:05:06 hours on the demanding course ten years ago.
Kenenisa Bekele against strong competition
Kenenisa Bekele was the top star in the men's race. The second fastest marathon runner of all time now competed in New York only six weeks after his disappointing 3rd place at the Berlin Marathon. However, he was not the clear top favorite. After all, the reigning half marathon world record holder Kibiwott Kandie made his marathon debut. The Kenyan was the first runner in the world to run a half marathon in under 58 minutes in December last year with 57:32 minutes. Also fancying his chances of victory was Dutchman Abdi Nageeye, who ran to Olympic silver behind marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Sapporo three months ago.
Unbeaten Peres Jepchirchir
In the women's race, Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir was the clear favorite. The former half marathon world record holder from Kenya has won all her marathon races so far. And her triumph was not to end in New York either. In a race that was tactical for a long time, she was the winner in 2:22:39 hours, just eight seconds over the course record. A trio of Peres Jepchirchir, compatriot Viola Cheptoo and Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh were in the lead until just under a kilometer from the finish. Jepchirchir was able to decisively pull away from her two opponents with a rapid increase in pace and run to victory without any danger. Cheptoo, in her marathon debut, finished second ahead of Yeshaneh in 2:22:44.
Strong Molly Seidel
The best non-African was followed by US runner Molly Seidel in 4th place. The Olympic bronze medalist ran to an unchallenged 4th place after 2:24:42 hours ahead of Helalia Johannes (Namibia) and her three compatriots Kellyn Taylor, Annie Frisbie and Laura Thweatt, who all ran times of 2:27:00 hours or lower.
Surprise victory by Albert Korir
While there was a favorites' victory in the women's race, Albert Korir's triumph in the men's race came as quite a surprise. The winner of the 2017 Vienna Marathon and the 2019 Houston Marathon won the race with a superior time of 2:08:22 hours. After 2nd place two years ago, it was already the second podium finish for Korir at the New York City Marathon.
Moroccan and Italian sensationally on the podium
Moroccan Mohamed El Aaraby surprised in second place. He was in the lead with Italy's Eyob Faniel for a long time before Korir and half marathon world record holder Kibiwott Kandie passed the duo after just under 30 kilometers. But both Korir and Kandie struggled for pace after that. Korir was nevertheless able to decisively widen the gap to the first chasers, while Kandie fell far behind. El Aaraby followed in second place, just 44 seconds behind, and Eyob Faniel also stayed under 2:10 hours with a time of 2:09:52. Behind him followed Elkanah Kibet (2:11:15 hours), the best US runner.
Black day for the top favorites
The top favorites had no chance on this day. While Kibiwott Kandie was pushed through to 9th place in his marathon debut, Olympic silver medalist Abdi Nagaeeye and running legend Kenenisa Bekele did not play a major role very early in the race. Dutchman Nageeye ran to 5th place with 2:11:39 hours, followed by Bekele in 6th place with 2:12:52 hours. US runners Ben True (7th) and Nathan Martin (8th) also still stayed under 2:13 hours.
Results New York City Marathon 2021 ➤ Ladies
- Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) - 2:22:39 hours
- Viola Cheptoo (KEN) - 2:22:44
- Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) - 2:22:52
- Molly Seidel (USA) - 2:24:42
- Helalia Johannes (NAM) - 2:26:09
- Kellyn Taylor (USA) - 2:26:10
- Annie Frisbie (USA) - 2:26:18
- Laura Thweatt (USA) - 2:27:00
- Grace Kahura (KEN) - 2:30:32
- Stephanie Bruce (USA) - 2:31:05
Results New York City Marathon 2021 ➤ Men
- Albert Korir (KEN) - 2:08:22 hours
- Mohamed El Aaraby (MAR) - 2:09:06
- Eyob Faniel (ITA) - 2:09:52
- Elkanah Kibet (USA) - 2:11:15
- Abdi Nageeye (NED) - 2:11:39
- Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) - 2:12:52
- Ben True (USA) - 2:12:53
- Nathan Martin (USA) - 2:12:57
- Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) - 2:13:43
- Jared Ward (USA) - 2:14:06