New York — Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya and Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia won the ING New York City Marathon 2011 titles today in perfect marathon weather.
Amanda McGrory of the USA reprised her 2006 women's wheelchair win, and Masazumi Soejima became the first Japanese winner in any division of the marathon by winning the men's wheelchair race in 1:31:41.
Mutai, also the reigning Boston Marathon champion, ran 2:05:06 to slice an incredible 2 minutes and 37 seconds off the old course record, set by Ethiopia's Tesfaye Jifar in 2001. McGrory's 1:50:24 also shattered the course record of 1:52:38, which Edith Wolf-Hunkeler set in 2007.
Dado and New York-resident Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba passed Kenya's Mary Keitany at the 24-mile mark after Keitany had gone out in a brave but self-destructive 1:07:56 first half-pace for a sub-2:17 marathon. Dado won in 2:23:15; Deba finished second, only four seconds back, and Keitany hung on for third, the same place she took last year.
The quality of the men's field was illustrated by the finish of 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi of the USA, who ran a personal-best 2:09:13 - two seconds faster than his winning time two years ago -and finished sixth, more than four minutes behind Geoffrey Mutai.
Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya (no relation) finished second and secured the 2010-2011 World Marathon Majors title (Russia's Liliya Shobukhova had already clinched the women's title), worth $500,000; Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia was third.
Their times of 2:06:28 and 2:07:14 were also comfortably under the old course record.