Runners take on 44th New York City Marathon

Emily Berthiaume, Teen Interest Editor

Over 50,000 participants took off to run the New York City Marathon on November 2. November’s New York wind and cold temperatures were factors in the performances of many, including participants such as professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, winner Wilson Kipsang and women’s winner Mary Keitany.

The largest marathon in the world got even larger this year with a record-setting 50,881 runners. Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, a former world-record holder, won the race with a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 29 seconds. Despite the fact that he is currently the best marathoner in the world, he had the slowest winning time of any winner since 1995, which was attributed to the strong wind. He pulled away in the final mile to achieve his third major marathon win in just over 13 months.

“After running in such tough conditions, I’m very happy,” said Kipsang. “The finish was very close and the speed was very high. It was not easy.”

Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa, who won the Boston Marathon in 2013, won second place and 2010 NYC marathon winner Gebre Gebremariam got third. Mary Keitany, the second fastest female marathoner in the world, won the women’s division for a Kenyan sweep with a time of 2 hours, 25 minutes and 7 seconds. This was her first marathon since the 2012 London Olympics.

Inclement weather played a huge role in the finalist’s performances. At 7AM, it was 42 degrees and winds were gusting from 35 to 45 miles an hour. This caused race organizers to move the wheelchair race to the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge as it was determined it was not safe enough for them to wheel across the bridge.

This was professional Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki’s first marathon ever, and she finished with a time of three hours and 27 minutes. This was a few minutes ahead of her desired time of three hours 30 minutes, despite the fact that her longest training run was a mere 13 miles.

“The crowd was amazing. It was incredible. It was such an incredible experience,” the 24-year-old former number one ranked player said. “I’m so happy to have done this. I’m so proud. Now I have this medal. I can say that I’ve done the New York City Marathon. I’ve even done it at a cool time. So I’m really, really happy.”

Rival and friend Serena Williams met her with a hug at the finish line. Her marathon raised over $81,000 for the charity Team for Kids, which helps fund the marathon organizer New York Road Runner’s youth programs. When asked if she has plans for another marathon in the future, she responded with, “Right now I don’t think I’m going to do one for a few years, but probably at some point I’m going to do another one. Right now I’m just tired. I’m exhausted. If you ask me right now, then I’d say no, but I’m sure that I’m going to look back on this experience and say that this was awesome and want to do it again.”

Other memorable racers include Katherine Slingluff, a photographer from Brooklyn, who ran her first marathon in ten years. In the last stretch, she was behind a man who had run the entire race while juggling. She pushed through and eventually finished with a time of four hours and 43 minutes  – making her the one-millionth finisher since the marathon started in 1970. She received a shopping spree and free lifetime admission to the marathon.

Slingluff was asked if she would like to run a marathon when she is as old as Ginette Bedrad, 81, who participated in this year’s marathon, she said. 

“Who’s to say if I will, but my hat goes off to anyone at that age who even tries,” she said. “I think I remember seeing her along the course—in addition to an older gentleman who had run the marathon thirty-one times.”