N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 1:23 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 1:23 p.m. ET

Image, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News
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

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 1:21 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 1:21 p.m. ET

Credit…Karsten Moran for 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.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 1:06 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 1:06 p.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

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

Video
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News
CreditCredit…Traci Carl, The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 1:04 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 1:04 p.m. ET

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.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:54 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:54 p.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

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
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:34 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:34 p.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Someone left behind an important sign.

Credit…Nadav Gavrielov for The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:34 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:34 p.m. ET

Video
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News
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.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:30 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:30 p.m. ET

running the marathon

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
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:28 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:28 p.m. ET

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.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:26 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:26 p.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

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, tin from the tops of yogurt containers, plastic from milk containers, a fishing line and lots of glue.

Credit…Karen Zraick/The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:17 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:17 p.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

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
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:02 p.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 12:02 p.m. ET

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[cheering] [music] [cheering] [music] [music]

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News
CreditCredit…The New York Times

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.

Wave 5 Start

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:58 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:58 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

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
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:53 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:53 a.m. ET

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.”

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:46 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:46 a.m. ET

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.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:45 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:45 a.m. ET

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.

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”

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:43 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:43 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Some spectators are expressing support in the most New York way possible — by taking a dig at the public transit system.

Credit…Ashley Wong for The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:39 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:39 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Members of the Boogie Down Bronx Runners are there to cheer on the group’s 35 entrants, many of whom have never run a marathon before. “We are trying to prove that we are not the unhealthiest county in New York State,” says Vanessa Gamarra, third from left in hat. “There is so much more to the Bronx community”

Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:27 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:27 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

It is a gorgeous fall day as the first runners arrive at the finish line. The sun is warm, the air is crisp and the trees are turning colors. The grandstands are only about half full, though, and access to much of the finish line festivities has been limited as the race returns after taking a year off because of the pandemic.

Credit…Traci Carl for The New York Times

11:20 a.m.

Wave 4 Start

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:18 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:18 a.m. ET

Credit…Uli Seit for The New York Times

Albert Korir of Kenya won the men’s race at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, finishing in 2 hours 8 minutes 22 seconds for his first major championship.

Mohamed Reda El Aaraby, who was 44 seconds behind in second place, became the first Moroccan to finish on the podium in New York since 2009, and Eyob Faniel of Italy was third.

It was a breakthrough performance for Korir, 27, who was the runner-up in New York in 2019. On Sunday, he ran a sound and tactical race against a decorated field that included Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, the second-fastest marathoner ever and a four-time Olympic medalist. Elkanah Kibet, a Kenyan-born runner who became a U.S. citizen in 2013, was the top American in fourth. Ben True of the United States finished in seventh.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:06 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:06 a.m. ET

Credit…Uli Seit for The New York Times

In a dramatic finish to the women’s race at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya pulled away in the final meters to win, just three months after she won gold in the women’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics.

Jepchirchir finished in 2 hours 22 minutes 39 seconds, just four seconds ahead of Viola Cheptoo, also of Kenya. (Cheptoo is the runner Bernard Lagat’s younger sister.) Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia finished third.

Molly Seidel, who won bronze at the Olympics in August, finished fourth as the top American. Seidel’s time of 2:24:42 was the fastest ever for an American in New York.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:05 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 11:05 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

First Avenue is heating up as more runners start to fill the street. People are shouting, blowing whistles, ringing cowbells, and a live band is playing “Ring of Fire.”

Credit…Ashley Wong for The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:55 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:55 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

The lead women are through 23 miles, as Viola Cheptoo and Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya and Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia continue to jostle for position. Molly Seidel of the United States is in fourth, about 43 seconds behind.

Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:48 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:48 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

The area near Cumberland and Lafayette in Brooklyn is electric, with runners slowing down and dancing as they make their way down the course. The song currently blasting is “Hot in Herre” by Nelly. The DJ, acknowledging the marathon’s hiatus last year due to the pandemic, said “We can’t even tell you how much we missed you. We’re back, that’s all that matters.”

Credit…Nadav Gavrielov/The New York Times

10:40 a.m.

Wave 3 Start

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:38 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:38 a.m. ET

The scene near the starting line includes a lot runners waiting anxiously and slowly shedding articles of clothing as their start time nears. When they hear the national anthem, runners know it’s almost time.

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[singing “The Star-Spangled Banner”] … by the dawn’s early light. What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News
CreditCredit…Caroline Kim
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:38 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:38 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Joel Gonzalez is camped out on First Ave with two massive Puerto Rico flags. Joel, who ran the 2017 and 2018 marathons, said he’s here to cheer on everyone, but especially the Latin community. He’s also hoping today will be a personal reset, he said — he’s going to quit smoking today and start training for the 2022 marathon tomorrow.

Credit…Ashley Wong for The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:36 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:36 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Three men are in hot pursuit of Eyob Faniel and Mohamed Reda El Aaraby: Kibiwott Kandie, Albert Korir and Elkanah Kibet, who are about 44 seconds behind at the 25-kilometer mark. Kenenisa Bekele is in seventh, less than a minute back.

And now, at the 20-mile mark in the Bronx, three women have broken free of Molly Seidel and the rest of the field: Peres Jepchirchir, Ababel Yeshaneh and Viola Cheptoo. Seidel is 11 seconds behind.

Credit…Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:46 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:46 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

We have some drama in the men’s race, as the leaders hit the 25-kilometer mark. A pair of Kenyans, Albert Korir and Kibiwott Kandie, have caught Eyob Faniel and Mohamed Reda El Aaraby, who had been leading since the early stages. Korir and Kandie have continued to surge, creating separation between themselves and Faniel and El Aaraby, who are in third and fourth now.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:51 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:51 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Albert Korir, who was the runner-up in 2019, has surged to the front of the men’s race, and looks incredibly comfortable through 20 miles, building a 5-second gap on Kibiwott Kandie. Kenenisa Bekele is a distant seventh, more than 2 minutes back.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:25 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:25 a.m. ET

Credit…Kelly Burgess for The New York Times

Ben True spent years training alone. New Hampshire is home for him, and it’s not a running mecca like Boulder or Flagstaff that draws big-name elite runners.

In recent months, True decided to mix things up. After spreading word among friends that he would be willing to go so far as to pay someone to relocate and train with him, True, 35, now has two full-time running buddies — Dan Curts and Fred Huxham, both 25 — who have used True to feed their own ambitions in the sport.

With a small community behind him, True is making his marathon debut, nearly five months after he narrowly missed an Olympic berth in the 10,000 meters when he finished fourth at the United States trials. And while he has guarded against putting too much pressure on himself, he considers New York something of a test. A test, he said, to see whether he is “cut out for the marathon.” And a test to determine whether his future in the sport is financially viable.

He is facing a loaded field including the likes of Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, a four-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion. True has never raced with a wristwatch, he said, but he plans to wear one for the marathon to protect himself from himself. He has some familiarity with the course, and knows how runners can surge at various points of the race, like Mile 16 off the Queensboro Bridge.

“I’m somebody who thrives on latching onto somebody and never letting go,” True said. “But if Bekele drops a 4:30 mile coming off the bridge, I probably shouldn’t try to match him.”

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:24 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:24 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Adriana Martinez, 44 of Yonkers, New York. “I feel great. It’s my first marathon and it’s my birthday. It feels so special in so many ways.”

Credit…Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:09 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:09 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Josh Cassidy, who finished fourth in the men’s wheelchair race for his best finish yet, said the race was “surprisingly really great.” He competed in Boston but took time off for the birth of his son two weeks ago and didn’t have high expectations for today’s race. “It is so good to be back in New York. I missed it.”

Credit…Traci Carl for The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:02 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:02 a.m. ET

Credit…Amr Alfiky for The New York Times

In 2019, Kenenisa Bekele came within two seconds of breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world record, completing the Berlin Marathon in 2 hours 1 minute 41 seconds. At 39, the Ethiopian star has come to the New York City Marathon for the first time, to prove he can still win anywhere.

“I will be in a very good position,” Bekele said of his chances.

Indeed. He is just about the fastest marathoner alive, and so much faster than everyone else in the race, even if this marathon does not necessarily favor the fleetest in the field.

He refuses to accept the idea that runners approaching their 40th birthday are not supposed to even think about winning one of the six world marathon majors. He said he believes he can find those two seconds he left on the course in Berlin in 2019 and break Kipchoge’s world record.

“I can go faster, and I can win races,” he said. “If I go faster I will win the race.”

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 9:59 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 9:59 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

The lead women have hit the halfway point, with Annie Frisbie continuing at the front. Her fellow Americans Molly Seidel, Kellyn Taylor and Laura Thweatt are also among the leaders. Their estimated finish time is 2:25:26.

Credit…Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times
, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:12 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:12 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

The lead pack has now thinned to nine — including the four Americans.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:23 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:23 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Just now, as Molly Seidel led the women through 17 miles, she gave a little wave to the crowd. But within seconds, three other athletes, including Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, the gold medalist from Tokyo, tried to surge past her. Seidel had to counter the move to keep up with them. Those four have separated themselves, at least for now. The race is on.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 9:59 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 9:59 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

The men’s field has been stringing out as various contenders take turns at the front and push the pace. Through 15 kilometers, the equivalent of just over 9 miles, two men have surged to the front: Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco and Eyob Faniel of Italy, who have a 23-second gap on six others, including Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia. Ben True of the United States, who wanted to be cautious with his pace, already has a lot of ground to make up.

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:12 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 10:12 a.m. ET

reporting from the marathon

Mohamed Reda El Aaraby and Eyob Faniel continue to press forward in the men’s race, building a 42-second lead on everyone else as they approach the halfway point. Both are gambling big, as more seasoned and accomplished runners behind them bide their time. The two leaders are averaging a 4:53 per mile pace.

Wave 2 Start

, N.Y.C. Marathon Updates: Kenyan Runners Win Men’s and Women’s Races, The Evepost Huff News

Nov. 7, 2021, 9:54 a.m. ET

Nov. 7, 2021, 9:54 a.m. ET

Credit…Uli Seit for The New York Times

Madison de Rozario of Australia won her first New York City Marathon women’s wheelchair title, turning a race that was tight early on into a one-woman show in Manhattan and the Bronx.

De Rozario finished in 1 hour 51 minutes 1 second.

Unlike the men’s wheelchair race, the women’s division was a dogfight between Manuela Schar, 36, the defending champion from Switzerland, Tatyana McFadden, 32, a five-time New York City champion, and de Rozario, 27.

It was de Rozario’s third time racing in the New York City Marathon.

Credit…Calla Kessler for The New York Times

At the halfway point, McFadden poked ahead by about five seconds. McFadden pushed up the Queensboro Bridge spanning Queens and Manhattan, with de Rozario a few seconds behind. Schar fell much further back.

But after McFadden hit the peak of the bridge and began to glide down, de Rozario sped past her. De Rozario then pulled ahead for good on First Avenue and continued to build her lead.

Being chased by McFadden and Schar “is one of the most terrifying things in the marathon, so I definitely wanted to avoid” being caught, de Rozario said after the race. “So when that gap opened up, yeah, I just kind of tried to do everything I could to hold it.”

De Rozario won the gold medal in the marathon at this year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games, edging out Schar by one second. She also won gold in the 800 meters in a Paralympic record time, and bronze in the 1,500 meters.

She won the London Marathon in 2018.