Peres Jepchirchir follows up Olympic gold with New York Marathon victory

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir won the 50th running of the New York City Marathon on Sunday in 2:22:39, surviving a thrilling three-way battle before sprinting for the finish line, and fellow Kenyan Albert Korir won the men’s race in 2:08:22.

Jepchirchir is the first athlete to pick up Olympic gold and win the famed race in the same year, with compatriot Viola Cheptoo and Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh finishing second and third respectively on Sunday. American Molly Seidel, who took home the bronze from the Tokyo Games, finished fourth. Cheptoo was making her marathon debut and quickly found her brother, Bernard Lagat, who was broadcasting the race on ESPN, after she finished.

Korir, who finished second in 2019, had established a 17-second lead through the 35km mark and leapt into the air as he broke the tape in Central Park, with Moroccan Mohamed El Aaraby finishing 44 seconds behind and Italian Eyob Faniel finishing third.

Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men’s wheelchair race for the fourth time, finishing more than six minutes ahead of the next racer for his first title since 2017. The 35-year-added yet another prize to a remarkable year that included four gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics, including in the marathon. He also won the Boston Marathon last month, despite losing out on $50,000 for setting a course record after taking a wrong turn.

Australia’s Madison de Rozario won the women’s wheelchair race, holding off past champions Tatyana McFadden and Manuela Schar for her first Big Apple victory. The 27-year-old also took gold at this year’s Tokyo Paralympic Marathon.

The temperature hovered around 40F (4C) on Staten Island as the elite runners started at 8am, after the race when on hiatus for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The field was cut by about 40% to around 30,000 runners, with efforts made to maintain distance between competitors near the start and finish lines.