Wilson Kipsang won a lucrative duel to the finish to join compatriot Mary Keitany in a Kenyan sweep of exciting men’s and women’s races at a cold, windy New York City Marathon.
Kipsang, the London Marathon champion running the New York race for the first time, ran shoulder to shoulder with Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia over the last two miles.
In the last half mile in Central Park, Desisa snuck ahead of Kipsang, who turned on a final burst to claim a victory in the 42.2-km race that was worth $600,000 to the Kenyan.
Kipsang crossed the finish line in an unofficial time of two hours 10 minutes 59 seconds to win the $100,000 top prize and catapult past compatriot Dennis Kimetto to claim $500,000 as the World Marathon Majors champion.
Desisa, the 2013 Boston Marathon winner, finished seven seconds behind Kipsang, with fellow Ethiopian Gebre Gebremariam, the 2010 New York champion, taking third place in 2:12:13.
Keitany, winner of the 2012 London Marathon, also won an exhilarating duel to claim the women’s crown.
The Kenyan took over the lead on Central Park South and widened her advantage during the last mile on her way to the Central Park finish.