Joyciline Jepkosgei Wins New York City Marathon in Her Debut

The half marathon world record holder denies Mary Keitany a fifth title; Desiree Linden finishes as top American in sixth.

  • Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya won the 2019 NYC Marathon in her debut at the distance, besting four-time champion Mary Keitany.
  • Her time of 2:22:38 missed the course record by only seven seconds.
  • Desiree Linden was the top American woman, finishing in sixth place.

    In her marathon debut, Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya, 25, looked like a veteran, winning the New York City Marathon in 2:22:38, only 7 seconds off the course record.

    She broke away from four-time champion Mary Keitany, also of Kenya, in the 23rd mile. Keitany had won four out of the past five years. Keitany, 37, was second in 2:23:32. Ruti Aga of Ethiopia was third in 2:25:51

    Desiree Linden, who set a fast early pace, was the top American in sixth in 2:26:46, which is the fourth-fastest time ever run by an American woman on the course. Kellyn Taylor was right behind her in seventh, crossing the line in 2:26:52.

    Jepkosgei set the world record in the half marathon in 2017, running 1:04:51 in Valencia, Spain.

    She postponed her marathon debut twice before stepping onto the course today in New York, and she stayed at Keitany’s side throughout the early miles. Linden had opened up a lead of 31 seconds by mile 11, but was caught by the leaders just before the halfway mark.

    Keeping the pace honest was the best bet for contenders who don’t have Keitany’s speed—last year the pace dawdled for the first half before Keitany ran a blistering 1:06:58 over the second half to win by more than 3 minutes.

    Keitany and Jepkosgei were both in the chase pack of four that swallowed Linden up and moved smoothly past her with a 5:16 for mile 14. By the time they arrived on First Avenue in Manhattan, the top three were clear of the field. The only question remained what the final order would be.

    Jepksogei, who said she was not nervous in her first marathon, powered uphill to split 5:23 for her 23rd mile, putting some daylight between herself and Keitany. She didn’t think she had the victory in hand until the end, knowing Keitany’s experience.

    “I see as I was approaching the finish line I was capable of the win,” she said.

    Marathon, Running, Long-distance running, Athlete, Outdoor recreation, Athletics, Recreation, Sports, Individual sports, Half marathon,
    Kevin Morris

    Keitany has now run the New York City Marathon eight times. In addition to her four wins, she now has two runner-up finishes and two thirds. Today was her second-fastest time over the course.

    Jepkosgei takes home $100,000 for the win, plus a bonus of $45,000 for finishing faster than 2:23.

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