Kenyan runners Lokedi, Chebet win New York City marathon
There was double delight for Kenya as Evans Chebet won the New York City Marathon men’s race and Sharon Lokedi of Kenya won the women’s race yesterday, both of them making a splash in their debuts.
Chebet finished in 2: 08:41 which was 13 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Shura Kitata of Ethiopia in 2:08:54 while Dutchman Abdi Nageeye took the third position.
“It is special, I have just been told I am the first man to win Boston and New York marathons in the same year since 2011. It is yet to sink in. I am existed for the past few years because I’ve really been able to unlock my full potential. The sky is the limit,” Chebet said.
Brazilian Daniel Do Nascimento who had been leading for the better part collapsed during the race.
Do Nascimento set an aggressive pace and had a two-minute lead at the halfway mark of the men’s race but he collapsed after mile 20, stunning onlookers as New York City Police Department officers ran to assist him.
Organisers did not immediately respond to the request for comment on his condition.
In the women’s race, it was Lokedi’s first-ever marathon and she finished in 2:23:23 just ahead of Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel, formerly Kenyan in 2:23:30.
“I’m out of words,” Lokedi told American press after the race with a tone of disbelief. “I’m just so happy that I won.”
The 28-year-old Lokedi was in a tight race before she pulled ahead of Chemtai Salpeter in the final two miles to win by seven seconds and finish about 50 seconds off the course record.
“My training has been somewhat different, I’m running more miles than I’ve ever ran before including big long runs,” marathoner Lokedi said in a past interview as she prepared for yesterday’s race
“Victory here is a huge surprise for me. Yes I expected to run well but not win because I was up against top ladies and also this was my debut marathon.I came from Kenya and expected it to be really cold so it was fine for me to be warm. I expected to run well. I’m really excited for today and the journey ahead, “ Lokedi said.
World champion Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia came in third.
World 10,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri who was also making her marathon debut over the distance finished an impressive sixth in 2:25.49.
Chebet, 33, pulled away from the pack chasing Do Nascimento as they headed over the bridge into Manhattan for the first time.
Chebet is on a life-changing run of success, winning five of his past six marathons. In addition to New York and Boston, he claimed first in Valencia, Spain; Lake Biwa, Japan; and Buenos Aires.
After Do Nascimento’s collapse, Chebet took the lead and never faced another threat for the rest of the way. Chebet won the Boston Marathon earlier this year.
The year’s final marathon major was gruelling with the normally crisp and mild New York autumn conditions replaced by heat hovering around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2°C), among the hottest conditions in the race’s history.
More than 50,000 runners made their way through all five boroughs on the 26.2-mile course.
The marathon was to full capacity for the first time since 2019. It was cancelled in 2020 and downsized in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.