Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, won the NYC Marathon today, the first American to do so in 27 years.
A surprisingly strong contingent of Americans were trying to break a 27-year men’s drought in the New York City Marathon, with four Americans in the lead back for a long while.But as the race turned down Fifth Avenue with four miles to go, it was the oldest and most experienced of them, Keflezighi holding the last hopes. He battled Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya stride for stride, as the battle for the marathon title had whittled to the two men. Cheruiyot a five-time winner of the Boston Marathon, is trying to win his first New York City Marathon. In his only previous race here, he finished fourth in 2005. Keflezighi, 34, has finished as high as second here (in 2004) but has never won a major marathon. He did, however, win a silver medal at the Athens Olympics. With about four miles to go in the race, Keflezighi began to create a wide gap between himself and Cheruiyot that would hold for the remainder of the race.
The marathon goes through the Upper East Side about 100 feet from my apartment. It’s quite the scene down on my corner – bands, food trucks, and thousands of fans. Wakes me up every year. The NYC Marathon calls itself the “largest sporting event in the world,” with 40,000 participants and two million spectators.
UPDATE: Ethiopian Deratu Tulu won the women’s marathon.