The 2009 ING New York Marathon, the world’s biggest marathon, was full of surprises and drama as it took to the streets of New York today. American distance running was the clear winner today as the US Marathon Championships showcased the best that American distance running has to offer — and it doesn’t get much better than it was today.American Meb Keflezighi won the race in a new personal best 2:09:15, pulling away from the elite international field in the 23rd mile to win the race by 41 seconds. He becomes the first American runner to win the New York City Marathon since 1982. Ryan Hall finished fourth. Including Keflezighi and Hall, a total of 6 Americans finished in the top 10 for the first time 1979. Keflezighi was the winner of the Silver Medal in the Marathon at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
In the women’s race, world record holder Paula Radcliffe felt a twinge in her knee at mile 11 and hung on with the field, but couldn’t keep up with the surging pace at mile 22. Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia went on to win the women’s race in 2:28:52. Radcliffe finished fourth.
Keflezighi pulled away from four-time Boston Marathon winner Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya in the 23rd mile and built a 41 seconds gap over the last 3 miles of the race.
A record 44,000 runners started the race today, which was run under cool conditions and light rain and winds early in the day. The rain let up near the start of the race and temperatures were in the mid-50s with cloudy skies throughout the day.
We’ll have more coverage coming soon as we compile our notes from the day.