By: CELINA ARZOLA
Sunday, November 6, 2016, marked another victory for Mary Keitany of Kenya and first-time victory for 20-year-old Eritrean, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie at the annual New York City Marathon.
This is now Mary Keitany’s third consecutive victory. Keitany is the first woman to win three in a row since Grete Waitz won five from 1982 to 1986. She ran more than half of the course entirely alone, pulling away from her rivals before the ten-mile mark and never needed to look back, finishing completely out of sight of the rest of the field in two hours twenty-four minutes and twenty-six seconds. Though she is the second-fastest woman in history, and her country’s record holder (2:18:37), Kenya decided to leave her off its Olympic team this year after she collided with Jemima Sumgong and fell in the London Marathon with about five miles to go and subsequently failed to win.
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, who is the youngest race winner in history, pulled away from a tight pack of three at Mile twenty and blew victory kisses to his onlookers as he won in 2:07:51. He was followed by Lucas Rotich of Kenya in second, Abdi Abdirahman, a Somali-born American who is based in Arizona, finished in third, and Abdirahman, 39, who is almost a generation older than Ghebreslassie. Ghebreslassie, who won the world championship in Beijing in 2015 at age 19, finished in fourth place at the Rio Olympics this year. He is the first Eritrean citizen to win the New York City Marathon.