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Mutai Runs Away With Course Record in New York - rrw

Published by
Matt   on Nov 7 2011, 04:05 AM

MUTAI RUNS AWAY WITH COURSE RECORD IN NEW YORK
By Chris Lotsbom
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

(06-Nov) NEW YORK, NY -- Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya separated from a pack of seven 20 miles into today's ING New York City Marathon, cruising his way to a new course record by breaking the tape first in 2:05:06. By doing so, Mutai becomes the first athlete to win both the Boston and New York City Marathons in the same year since Rodgers Rop in 2002.

Featuring five men who had run sub-2:07 marathons before, Mutai had his mind set on winning his second World Marathon Major and breaking the previous course record of 2:07:43. Through eleven miles, the men's pack was composed of eleven, with defending champion Gebre Gebremariam and 2009 winner Meb Keflezighi tucked behind the leaders. Mutai, Kenyan's Mathew Kisorio and Emmanuel Mutai were in front, with tiny Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia barely visible over the taller bodies around him. Also included was little known Ezkyas Sisay, an Ethiopian living in Flagstaff, Ariz.

At halfway, hit in 1:03:17, the younger Mutai, Emmanuel, surged, as if he had a plan to begin the real race nearing the Pulaski Bridge. Soon winding back into a group formation, the pack continued their way out of Queens and into Manhattan with all of the big names still in contention; Kebede had taken the lead for the first time at this point.

After staying packed for the majority of the race, Geoffrey Mutai finally had had enough. Passing twenty miles, Mutai surged, his arms pumping faster than they had all day. Kebede, Emmanuel Mutai and Gebremariam, barely holding on, strung out single file behind the self-coached Kenyan from Kapng'etuny.

Gebremariam tossed his hat and gloves, throwing all he had to stay with the leading Mutai, but he couldn't answer to the quicker pace. Like he did last April in Boston, Mutai surged away without a challenge, wanting to run solo the rest of the way.

With a 4:31 21st mile, Mutai was gone. He would lengthen his lead to nearly a minute through Central Park, as Kebede and Emmanuel Mutai were dueling for second place.  The strategy of starting easy and finishing hard worked, as Mutai would eventually cross the finish all alone in a course record of 2:05:06, running the hillier second half of the race in an extraordinary 1:01:47.

"Although I won, the race was not easy," said Mutai, who netted $200,000 including a $70,000 time incentive bonus. "I was not expecting to win in a time like that."

Mutai likely earned himself a spot on the Kenyan Olympic team.  Kenyan officials were in New York to observe the race, but have yet to name their team.

"If they would select me, then I will be there because when you are selected, you must do it for your country," he said.

Emmanuel Mutai and Tsegaye Kebede in second and third also dipped under the previous course record, running 2:06:28 and 2:07:14, respectively.  Like Geoffrey Mutai, they each earned a $70,000 bonus for breaking 2:07:30.

The second-place Mutai clinched the World Marathon Majors title for 2010-2011 with 70 points, worth $500,000.

Last year's champion Gebre Gebremariam finished fourth, while 2009 winner Meb Keflezighi was the first American in sixth, setting a personal best 2:09:13.

"I went for it," said the 36-year-old from Mammoth Lakes, Calif. "To run a personal best... I couldn't be happier."

Keflezighi will have 70 days to prepare for the USA Olympic Marathon Trials in January.

PHOTO: Geoffrey Mutai points to his course record time at the 2011 ING NYC Marathon (Photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

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