On a perfect fall day in New York City, Hellen Obiri of Kenya won the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon women’s race, crossing the line in 2:27:23 after a closing sprint. Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola won the men’s race in a course-record 2:04:58, running the last several miles of the race alone in the lead.
This is Obiri’s second title this year—the two-time Olympic champion won the Boston Marathon earlier this year. She trains with the Colorado-based On Athletics Club and is coached by U.S. Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein. The 33-year-old runner will receive $100,000 in prize money for her victory.
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In the women’s race, Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey, the world record-holder in the 10,000 meters and the half marathon, finished second in 2:27:29, six seconds behind Obiri. She ran her first marathon in Valencia in 2022, which was the fastest ever women’s marathon debut. Gidey will take home $60,000 for her finish in New York.
The women’s race came down to the final miles; a group of five women were still running together as the course turned into Central Park, marking 2.6 miles to go. Many of the runners are decorated track athletes as well with significant closing speed.
“I was patient until Central Park, so I could see what would happen at the end,” Obiri said to ESPN’s Lewis Johnson after the race. “I said, no, I can do this, I can try.”
The defending champion Sharon Lokedi of Kenya crossed the finish line third in 2:27:33, and Kenyan Brigid Kosgei finished fourth in 2:27:45. Kosgei, who most recently won the 2022 Tokyo Marathon, set the world record at the 2019 Chicago Marathon (it was broken by Tigst Assefa at the 2023 Berlin Marathon). Most recently, Kosgei won the 2022 Tokyo Marathon.
The top finishing American woman was Kellyn Taylor, who finished eighth in 2:29:48. Taylor earned $5,000 for her finish and an additional prize of $25,000 for being the first American woman. The second American was U.S. Olympian Molly Huddle, finishing ninth overall, in 2:32:02. She brought home $2,500 and an additional $15,000 American bonus.
For the men, Tola, who won the 2022 marathon world championships, finished the course in 2:04:58, beating Geoffrey Mutai’s record of 2:05:06 set back in 2011. He will take home $100,000 in prize money, along with an additional $50,000 bonus for his course record.
Albert Korir of Kenya placed second in 2:06:57 and Shura Kitata of Ethiopia, placed third in 2:07:11. The two will receive $60,000 and $40,000, respectively, for their finishes.
A few big names dropped from the race last minute. Olympic marathon champion and 2021 NYC Marathon winner Peres Jepchirchir injured her calf in her last pre-race workout and announced yesterday that she will not run. A few weeks ago, last year’s winner Evans Chebet of Kenya and his countryman, two-time winner Geoffrey Kamworor, announced they had pulled out of the marathon. Chebet, 34, won the Boston Marathon in April and was seeking back-to-back titles in New York after he won last year’s race. Kamworor finished second at the London Marathon this year.
American Futsum Zienasellassie, finished 10th overall, followed by Elkanah Kibet, who finished 11th and Sydney Gidabuday who finished 13. Zienasellassie will receive $25,000 for being the top American, in addition to his $2,000 for finishing 10th place.
Swiss athletes dominated the wheelchair race. Five-time Paralympian Marcel Hug of Switzerland broke the tape in the men’s wheelchair race in an unofficial time of 1:25:28, his sixth NYC Marathon title, and he will take home $35,000 in prize money. Hug missing his own course record (and the $50,000 bonus) by just three seconds. With this win, Hug becomes the first person to win all six Abbott World Marathon Majors in one year (Berlin, New York City, London, Chicago, Boston and Tokyo).
Hug’s countrywoman, Catherine Debrunner, won the women’s wheelchair race in a course-record 1:39:32. She also wins $35,000 in prize money, in addition to the $50,000 course-record bonus.
“[The victory is] difficult to describe in words. I said to my coach, if I win this race, then it’s just the best performance I’ve ever showed,” Debrunner told Lewis Johnson of ESPN. “I knew it’s the toughest marathon. … I came away much earlier than expected, and I did the whole race by myself. I was just so exhausted … it means the world to me.”
The NYC Marathon served as the selection event for the United States Paralympic marathon team, with the top two American finishers in each event earning a spot to go to 2024 Paris Paralympics. Susannah Scaroni, who finished third overall, and Tatyana Mcfadden, who finished sixth, qualified to represent the U.S. women in the marathon in Paris next summer. Daniel Romanchuk, second overall, and Aaron Pike, fourth overall, will represent the U.S. men.
The 2023 TCS New York City Marathon’s total guaranteed prize purse is $870,000.
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