New York City Marathon Live Updates: Kenyans Dominate as the City Celebrates

New York City Marathon Live Updates: Kenyans Dominate as the City Celebrates

The total purse of prize money for this year’s marathon adds up to over $700,000 and is awarded to men and women equally. Aside from prizes for the top finishers in the Open Division, in which professional runners compete, there is also money earmarked for professional wheelchair racers, American athletes, athletes over 40 and members of New York Road Runners, which organizes the race.

The Open Division was allotted $534,000, which is split between the top 10 men’s and women’s finishers. First place receives $100,000, second receives $60,000 and third receives $40,000.

Molly Seidel, the American who finished fourth, walked away with $50,000 — $25,000 for her fourth-place finish in the women’s Open Division, and another $25,000 for finishing first among Americans, meaning her winnings exceeded the third-place prize.

In recognition of the 50th running of the New York City Marathon, a $50,000 bonus was offered to men’s or women’s Open Division race winners if they broke the course record — but neither did. Peres Jepchirchir narrowly missed Margaret Okayo’s 2003 record of 2 hours 22 minutes and 31 seconds — by just 8 seconds.

Alexandra Petri

I finished the New York City Marathon! I got to run through the neighborhood I grew up in, which was just the best thing. I had my name on my shirt and there were so many people screaming “Alex” — I felt like an absolute rock star. New York showed up. The city didn’t let us down, they came out and brought two years of joy to the streets.

Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times

Each year during race weekend, designers and editors at The New York Times race to our own finish line: to publish what we call the Marathon Agate, a list of the names and finish times of many of the day’s runners, in the following day’s city edition paper. (An agate is journalism jargon for the presentation of information printed in smaller type — in this case, just a quarter-inch high.) Compared with a typical Monday, the post-marathon city paper sees a bump in retail sales of almost 50 percent.

The number of names published depends on both the amount of pages allotted for the agate as well as runners’ finish times. Read about more of the details here.

Traci Carl

Volunteer Jackie Fello was one of the few signs cheering on runners after the finish line. She said she wanted to give people hope after the pandemic. It worked, most of the time. “Never again,” one runner told her as he limped along.

Credit…Traci Carl for The New York Times

Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Everyone knows there’s a big difference between a 100-meter sprint and a 26.2-mile marathon. But how does that translate to how we run?

Sprints are strictly about power and mechanics. Endurance races are all about the supply and demand of energy.

As part of our coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, we invited three elite runners to run on the world’s fastest treadmill to examine the differences between running fast and running far (but still pretty fast). The marathoner whose stride we analyzed, Jared Ward, finished 10th in the New York City Marathon today.

Matthew Futterman

Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times

The rolling hills of Central Park actually begin before runners actually enter the park as they climb the last long ascent on Fifth Avenue from 110th Street to 90th Street. Usually there are only two or three runners at the front by this point. Often, the leader is running alone and looking over a shoulder every so often to gauge the gap.

If a leader has company, the real racing begins heading into the turn into Central Park at Engineers’ Gate. It’s where Shalane Flanagan opened up her gap in 2017. Once in the park, a little more than two miles remain. This is where Meb Keflezighi in 2009 skipped his last fluid station near the Metropolitan Museum of Art and grabbed the lead he would never relinquish.

For a solo leader, the hills of Central Park are a last test of mettle. For two or more racers competing for the lead, they are one of the final chances for separation before the end.

Lauren McCarthy

The Los Angeles Marathon also returned on Sunday, after 19 months and two delays. The race, typically held in March, was rescheduled for May before being postponed a second time out of caution — and it wound up landing on the same day as the New York City Marathon.

It last took place in March 2020, only days before pandemic lockdowns began.

With a late-race surge, John Korir of Kenya won the 36th edition of the marathon, finishing in 2 hours 12 minutes 48 seconds. His older brother, Wesley Korir, is a two-time winner of the Los Angeles race.

Natasha Cockram of Wales won the women’s race in 2:33:17.

An estimated 15,000 competitors will travel from Dodger Stadium to Century City while running a new “Stadium to the Stars” course, a route intended to welcome more spectators.

Matthew Futterman

Williamsburg delivers what may be the least and most fun stretches of the marathon. It starts with a grind across the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that ends up in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood where the marathon is something of an afterthought. The result is a strange kind of silence and little support among the locals that can make Mile 11 feel like two or three.

Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times
Ashley Wong

The carnage left behind by tired runners — empty paper cups, banana peels and orange rinds.

Credit…Ashley Wong for The New York Times
Credit…Ashley Wong for The New York Times
Alexandra Petri

I’ve been warned about how much of a slog the Queensboro Bridge is — long and steep with no crowds. But the payoff is the energy that greets you on First Avenue. Let’s see if it can match Brooklyn: so many high fives, loads of music and just so much joy.

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Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times

We sent photographers Todd Heisler (in a helicopter) and Karsten Moran (on a bridge) up in the air to capture the scope of the New York City Marathon from above.

Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times
Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times
Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times
Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Alexandra E. Petri

Credit…Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times

For Shawna Lewis-Fedorko, crossing the starting line on Staten Island is a victory in itself. “I have come a long way,” she said before the race. “And I still have a long way to go.”

Lewis-Fedorko, 54, is one of the tens of thousands of runners participating in the 50th New York City Marathon, which is making its return after being canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. She is also one of the runners who are competing after surviving Covid-19.

She contracted the virus just before Christmas last year. Her body ached more than when she’d been hit by a car as a teenager. In the weeks and months afterward, Lewis-Fedorko, like so many survivors, found herself only partly out of the woods: She couldn’t make it from her couch to her front door without needing a break. She couldn’t utter a sentence without needing a big breath of air.

Eventually she began training for the marathon, but it wasn’t easy. She would come home from practice runs frustrated and crying. Her wife, Linda, was so worried about her running alone, she often rode alongside her on a scooter. At the end of September, Lewis-Fedorko was diagnosed as a “long-hauler” for her lingering breathing issues.

Still, “with everything last year stacked against me,” it was important to compete this year, she said.

“It might take me 12 hours,” she added. “I want to do it because it might be my last opportunity. If I have to walk it, I will.”

For Dr. Jose Alfredo Jimenez Gaxiola, an intensive care doctor, New York is his second marathon after not only surviving Covid but also working on the front line at a 400-bed hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. (He ran in Chicago last month.) For two weeks he was in a fog, he said, battling a 103-degree fever and pneumonia.

And while Jimenez, a longtime runner and triathlete, had a fast recovery, his fitness and endurance naturally deteriorated. He also started gaining weight after returning to work, as food became a coping mechanism for the fear he felt during those endless, difficult shifts. But last spring, he set his sights on the finish line in Chicago, then New York.

“I feel excited, happy and blessed,” Jimenez, 55, said of competing this year.

In the early days of her recovery, Sally Barton, who contracted Covid around Christmas, found that running felt like she was trucking through mud and against the wind. Soreness lingered in her lungs from the coughing. That spring, to raise money for a charity, she ran a marathon in more than five hours — an hour slower than her usual pace. Barton, who has run 10 marathons, wondered whether she’d ever regain her old times.

But through this process, she has developed a heightened sense of gratitude for her body’s ability to run after Covid. “I know that not everyone can, and maybe one day I won’t be able to, and it made me face that,” said Barton, 37.

As her training began in July, improvements started to show. Now, there is an added personal element to the marathon’s return. “I see this as a comeback to my old self,” Barton said.

Traci Carl

Volunteers wrap runners in ponchos after they cross the finish line.

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CreditCredit…Traci Carl, The New York Times
Matthew Futterman

Credit…Librado Romero/The New York Times

For 45 years, elite runners have been talking about the wall of sound they hit coming off the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan and the adrenaline rush of running up First Avenue. It’s a good bet that someone will try to take a lead here and drop any lingering pretenders, especially if there is no headwind.

Runners from the same country — the Ethiopians, the Kenyans — will often work together here, taking turns at the front and throwing in fast surges on this long and largely flat or downhill straightaway to see who has enough gas in the tank to stay with them. With nearly 10 miles to go, the marathon can’t be won on First Avenue, but it can easily be lost.

Traci Carl

Joe Shayne, a running coach for the New York running club TeamWRK, said local running clubs were out in force during the race and many were celebrating the marathon’s return. “It just felt like a homecoming party.”

Credit…Traci Carl for The New York Times
Nadav Gavrielov

Someone left behind an important sign.

Credit…Nadav Gavrielov for The New York Times
Talya Minsberg

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CreditCredit…Erin Azar via TikTok

Erin Azar, known as Mrs. Space Cadet on TikTok, began documenting her runs two years ago. She invited followers to join her, “a slightly overweight person who drinks too much beer,” as she trained for a marathon. But she didn’t anticipate that millions would respond.

“One of the first times I posted a run on TikTok it got over a million views, and I was like, ‘That’s weird,’” she said. “Everything I saw on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube were skinny runners with really cute outfits and really cute shoes, running seven- or eight-minute miles.”

That is not how Azar would describe herself. Instead, the 37-year-old mother of three has documented runs with her loyal “cheer squad” (three trees in a row), admitted when she had to pee mid-run, shared how much she struggles on what she calls the “barf hill” near her home and explained the awkwardness of passing walkers when their pace is close to her own.

“I felt like the really curated feeds were keeping people from feeling like they could run or try to run or work out in any way,” she said. “So that’s why I kept posting.”

On Sunday, Azar is sharing the progress of running the New York City Marathon — her first — with her 688,000 (and growing) followers on TikTok. She posted a video at Mile 5 of a bright morning and cheering onlookers. “We’re doing it!” she said.

In another post, while running on an incline, she sings, “hills don’t care about your feelings.”

But Azar has not only logged miles and followers, she has used her newfound attention to raise more than $73,000 to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Matthew Futterman

Shalane Flanagan has completed her quest, running six marathons in six weeks — something that was made possible by this year’s condensed major marathon season. And she saved the best for last, completing the New York race in 2 hours 33 minutes 32 seconds, her best time out of all six.

Credit…Elsa/Getty Images
Matthew Futterman

Credit…Calla Kessler for The New York Times
Credit…Calla Kessler for The New York Times

After the long slog through Brooklyn and Queens, the race turns to Manhattan via the 59th Street Bridge in Mile 15, also known as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. It’s a long uphill, followed by a long downhill, and a spot where the lead pack tends to thin out as the leaders try to figure out who has what it takes to stay with them in the early part of the second half of the race.

After nearly 15 miles of crowd noise, the bridge is nearly silent, making it as much of a mental test as a physical one. It’s one thing to keep running sub-five minute miles when tens of thousands of people are urging you on. It is quite another to do it in the lonely quiet of a long, uphill suspension bridge.

Karen Zraick

Brian Dillon, a lifelong Bay Ridge resident, strolled along the route wearing an absolutely unique accessory: a miniature replica of the Parachute Jump in Coney Island.

His brother had made it for a previous Mermaid Parade out of cardboard, barbecue skewers, tinfoil from the tops of yogurt containers, plastic from milk containers, a fishing line and lots of glue.

Credit…Karen Zraick/The New York Times
Traci Carl

Amanda Chang, 27, finished her first New York City Marathon and her second marathon ever. She was joyous as she crossed the finish line and said she loved New York’s energy. “The crowd is unbelievable. I feel like this is what Kim Kardashian feels like — red carpet, everyone cheering!”

Credit…Traci Carl for The New York Times
Talya Minsberg

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If you want to move to an apartment on Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn — between Miles 8 and 9 of the New York City Marathon — you better come prepared to party on marathon Sunday.

There is always more cowbell here.

There are live bands, DJs with massive speaker systems and New Yorkers blasting music from their apartment windows. There are dance parties and confetti cannons, spectators on the shoulders of other spectators, and costumes from Halloweens past.

Getting to Mile 8 is like arriving at a party that exceeds your already high expectations. You may not want to leave. You’ll surely want the band from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, which has long played for marathoners on Lafayette, to follow you for the next 18.2 miles.

And to some extent, they will. Yes, you’ll have “Eye of the Tiger” in your head for the rest of the race.

Traci Carl

Michael Mesina ran nine New York City Marathons before deciding to spend today cheering on runners in the grandstands. “It’s a nice energy to be on the other side.”

Credit…Traci Carl for The New York Times
Talya Minsberg

Credit…Steve Luciano/Associated Press

Abby Wambach would really like to be done with running. At least that’s what she said before boarding a plane to run the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

It’s not like she isn’t used to training: When she retired from the U.S. women’s soccer team in 2015, she had secured 184 goals, two Olympic gold medals and a World Cup championship.

It’s just that she’s been training for this particular marathon for quite a long time. She began running in earnest in 2018, a progression she described as one from walking to something she calls “wogging” to jogging to running.

In 2019, she decided to try to fulfill what she called a “weird dream” of becoming a marathoner. So she began training for the 2020 New York City Marathon.

The cancellation of last year’s race was a relief, she said, until she realized she’s been training for a marathon for several years.

On Sunday, she will line up at the marathon start line at the base of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge with the former U.S. women’s soccer players Leslie Osborne, Lauren Holiday and Kate Markgraf, now the general manager of the U.S. women’s soccer team.

They’re excited to run together, but Wambach is charging her headphones, just in case.

“I’m planning on going quicker than I’m thinking I will,” she said a few days before the race. “I’m very competitive.”

Crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is the first challenge. Good news — it actually represents the longest climb of the race. Thankfully, there is so much adrenaline from the start and the sparkling view of New York Harbor and the downtown skyline that runners barely feel the ascent. The real challenge is not blowing too many reserves too early, especially when there is every temptation to fly down the span into Brooklyn. A little patience goes a long way there.

Runners begin to hear Bay Ridge for a quarter-mile or so before they are on the land. Take it easy. All that noise and plenty more will be there soon enough, during the couple of turns through the neighborhood ahead of the big right onto the long straightaway of Fourth Avenue, where, just like that, the first 5-k is all but finished.

Alexandra E. Petri

Credit…Paul Hawthorne for The New York Times

For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, tens of thousands of runners will hit the streets for the New York City Marathon, and celebrities and athletes will race alongside regular folks.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team has several Olympic gold medalists and World Cup winners running in this year’s race, including its alumnae Abby Wambach, Lauren Holiday, Leslie Osborne and Kate Markgraf.

The retired Giants running back Tiki Barber is a veteran marathoner who will run in his seventh in-person New York City Marathon this year. Christy Turlington, a model, activist and seasoned marathoner, will also compete.

The Broadway actress and Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara; the Grammy winning musicians Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons; as well as several contestants from “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” franchises, including Tayshia Adams and Matt James, are also among the celebrities running. It is possible to track the race’s celebrity runners using the event’s official app, so long as they did not opt out of the tracking feature.

Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was also seen completing the marathon.

Other notable runners include:

  • C.J. Hobgood, ASP World Championship surfer

  • Daniel Humm, chef and owner of Eleven Madison Park

  • Kristine Froseth, model and actress

  • Nicole Briscoe, ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor

  • Ryan Briscoe, professional racecar driver

  • Tyler Cameron from “The Bachelorette”

  • Will Reeve from “Good Morning America”

  • Willie Geist, host of “Sunday Today” and a co-host of “Morning Joe”

  • Zac Clark from “The Bachelorette”


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