Meb Keflezighi Wins 40th NYC Marathon

Keflezighi Does It! Wins 40th New York City Marathon
Tulu women’s ING NYCM champion; six American men in the top 10;
largest marathon ever

By Parker Morse, Running
USA wire

NEW YORK – (November 1, 2009) – The winless streak is over in
New York as Meb Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 10,000m U.S.
record holder, became the first American champion of the New York City
since 1982 when he broke away from four-time Boston Marathon
champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot and finished in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 15
seconds this Sunday morning. Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia was the women’s
champion in 2:28:52 at the 40th edition.

Keflezighi’s victory caps the best record of any American man
in the last decade at the ING New York City Marathon, including a runner-up
finish in 2004 and third in 2005. His victory also caps nearly a decade of work
by the New York Road Runners to bring U.S. champions back to their
flagship race, notably hosting the 2001 USA Marathon Championships and the 2008
U.S. Men’s Olympic Trials at the 2007 event and to support training groups such
as Keflezighi’s. The ING NYCM was the USA Men’s Championship race again this

It was Keflezighi’s first-ever marathon victory in twelve
starts, and the UCLA grad ran with the patience of a veteran.

“My wife told me not to take the lead, no matter how good I
feel,” Keflezighi said. “They make you do all the work.”

Running strongly under overcast skies, temperatures in the
mid-50s and variable winds and with the pack through the early miles,
Keflezighi, 34, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. ignored a strength-wasting move led by
2004 race champion Hendrick Ramaala on First Avenue, and stayed off the
lead even once the field was narrowed to himself and Cheruiyot. Keflezighi
finally took the lead, for good, as the pair turned off Fifth Avenue and into
Central Park.

“I beat [Cheruiyot] in 2005 here [in New York],” Keflezighi
recounted. “With 2 miles to go, I gave a push, and he let me go. I just kept
expanding the lead.”

Even after breaking away, Keflezighi was holding energy in
reserve, enough to quickly cross himself as he passed the spot his one-time
training partner and friend Ryan Shay died during the Trials in 2007.
Keflezighi finished eighth in that race and later discovered, adding injury to
insult, that he had been running with a stress reaction in his hip. That injury
contributed to a disappointing 2008, but Keflezighi has been on a tear in 2009,
including four national titles and PRs in both marathons he has run (also
London). The now 20-time USA champion even dropped to the pavement for a push-up
at the finish line.

“It was one [win] for [Shay] and one for me,” said
Keflezighi, referring to the national title and the coveted NYCM victory
(Alberto Salazar was the previous last U.S. race champion when he
three-peated in 1982).

For his historic efforts, the two-time Olympian earned
$200,000 ($130,000 for first, $40,000 as national champion and $30,000 time

Cheruiyot finished second in 2:09:56, while two-time world
champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco was third (2:10:25). Keflezighi’s
Mammoth Track Club teammate Ryan Hall, fourth in 2:10:36, was the
runner-up at the 85th USA Men’s Championships, and Jorge Torres (2:13:00
debut), Nick Arciniaga, three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman and
Jason Lehmkuhle filled places 7 through 10 to give the USA six runners in
the top 10 – the best U.S. finish since 1979.

“I feel all right,” said Hall, a 2008 Olympian. “I am
disappointed, I didn’t run as well as I hoped to, but I’m happy for my teammate,
Meb. There were a lot of Americans in the mix late in the race, and that’s
something Meb and Deena [Kastor] started in 2004 [with their Olympic

Tulu, 37, two-time Olympic 10,000m champion, outdueled the
2000 NYCM champion Ludmila Petrova in Central Park. After the pair left
behind world record holder and defending champion Paula Radcliffe and
Frenchwoman Christelle Daunay, Tulu surged on Central Park South after
spotting an Ethiopian flag in the crowd and opened an eight-second gap on
Petrova by the finish line. Petrova, 41, whose 2:29:00 was well short of the
Masters record she set here last year, was second for the second year in a

It was Tulu’s first marathon win since London in 2001. “I did
not come here necessarily expecting to win,” said Tulu, who took home $140,000.
“I did expect that I would be a strong competitor, and I’m very happy to have
won.” Tulu finished third in New York in 2005.

Briton Radcliffe was favored to win a fourth ING NYCM crown
and her third in a row, but a tendon issue hampered her ability to set the fast
early pace she counts on to burn off competition.

“I’m pretty annoyed,” she said. “I really thought it was
going to be fine.”

Radcliffe fronted the pack of four or five throughout the
race, and was finally dropped when Petrova took the lead on Fifth Avenue with
about 5K remaining to run. Daunay was third in 2:29:16, Radcliffe fourth
(2:29:27). Reigning Boston Marathon champion Salina Kosgei, who stumbled
and fell in Brooklyn, blamed the resulting pain in her leg for her fourth place
finish (2:31:53).

2008 Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet was the
first U.S. woman in sixth, running 2:32:17. “It’s always a pleasure to be in the
top 10,” said Lewy Boulet. “New York has a special place in my heart for many

Triathlete Desiree Ficker was the second U.S. woman in
tenth, 2:39:30, while 1984 Olympic Marathon champion and running icon Joan
Benoit Samuelson
, 52, ran 2:49:09 for 17th.

Approximately 40,000 runners were expected to finish the race
which would shatter the largest marathon record of 38,607 finishers from the
2007 race.

40th ING New York City Marathon: 85th
USA Men’s Championship

New York, NY, Sunday, November 1, 2009

1) Meb Keflezighi (USA / CA), 2:09:15, $200,000
Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (KEN), 2:09:56, $90,000
3) Jaouad Gharib (MAR),
2:10:25, $55,000
4) Ryan Hall (USA / CA), 2:10:36, $60,000
5) Abderrahime
Bouramdane (MAR), 2:12:14, $15,000
6) Hendrick Ramaala (RSA), 2:12:30,
7) Jorge Torres (USA / CO), 2:13:00, $27,000
8) Nick Arciniaga
(USA / MI), 2:13:46, $20,000
9) Abdi Abdirahman (USA / AZ), 2:14:00,
10) Jason Lehmkuhle (USA/ MN) 2:14:39, $11,000
11) Jackson Kotut
Kipkoech (KEN), 2:15:10
12) Peter Gilmore (USA / CA), 2:15:22, $8000
Migidio Bourifa (ITA), 2:16:01
14) Mike Sayenko (USA / WA), 2:16:38,
15) Mike Reneau (USA / WI), 2:16:45, $4000
16) Jose Telles De Souza
(BRA), 2:17:28
17) Allen Wagner (USA / PA), 2:17:49, $3000
18) Max King
(USA / OR), 2:19:11, $2500
19) Mohammed Awol (ETH), 2:19:31
Christopher Raabe (USA / DC), 2:19:49, $2000
21) Pat Tarpy (USA / RI),
2:20:43, $1500
24) Brett Winegar (USA / WA), 2:23:11, $1000
25) Bryan
Morseman (USA / NY), 2:23:50, $1000

1) Derartu Tulu (ETH), 2:28:52, $140,000
Ludmila Petrova, 41, RUS, 2:29:00, $68,000
3) Christelle Daunay (FRA),
2:29:16, $40,000
4) Paula Radcliffe (GBR), 2:29:27, $25,000
5) Salina
Kosgei (KEN), 2:31:53, $15,000
6) Magdalena Lewy Boulet (USA / CA), 2:32:17,
7) Buzunesh Deba (ETH), 2:35:54, $7000
8) Serkalem Biset Abrha
(ETH), 2:37:20, $5000
9) Yuri Kano (JPN), 2:39:05, $1000
10 Desiree Ficker
(USA / TX), 2:39:30, $500

Complete results and more at:

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