2014 New York Marathon: Live coverage

02 Nov 2014 Posted by

Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany have won the 2014 New York Marathons.  Both races went down to the final 200m, and both were spectacular.  Tactical, and affected by very strong winds, the pace was slow and large groups stayed together until around 35km.  That’s when Keitany and Kipsang laid down the first long-term breaks in the race.  Keitany was accompanied by Jemima Sumgong, Kipsang by Lelisa Desisa, and they raced head to head over the final 3km.

In the women’s race, Sumgong actually made the first move, but Keitany hung on, prevented the gap from opening up much beyond 5km, and then came back just in time to move clear in the short hill that pulls up to the finish line.  For Sumgong (and anyone else), once you make a move, and it doesn’t stick, you rarely get a second chance, and Keitany used the hill to pull clear, open a relatively large lead that was cut in the final meters, to two seconds.

The men’s race, largely missed because as usual USA TV stuffed up the broadcast, saw Kipsang pulling Desisa through the park, past Columbus circle, and looking totally serene.  Desisa looked like a man engaged in a ragged sprint finish for about the last 2km, but he looked that way in Boston two years ago and won.  This time, it was not to be, but the final 200m produced one of the great video moments, when Desisa pulled alongside Kipsang, bumped his elbow and Kipsang looked across at him with a mix of surprise, indignation and bemusement, and then actually said something to him, before dropping the final move that took him to the New York title and $600,000.  Watch that video below, and then read the splits, and my thoughts from the race below that!


Men’s race: Splits

5km – 15:58, so that’s 3:12/km, and projects 2:14:45.  That’s how strong the wind is.

10km – 31:30, projecting 2:12:55.  Slightly faster last 5km, see race comments below

15km – 47:25, with a last 5km of 15:55. Cagey and tactical, making for a great finish later in the Park

20km – 1:03:16, last 5km in 15:51, so they continue to build for First Avenue and aggression later

Halfway – 1:06:55, projecting 2:13:50. As with the women, expect it to be faster, even with Central Park

25km – 1:19:29, last 5km in 16:13. Projects a 2:14:09

30km – 1:35:05, 15:36 for the last 5km.  Some pressure, but it’s fast-slow-fast-slow. No move has stuck

35km – 1:50:17, so 15:12 for the last 5km and that’s the quickest.

40km – 2:04:48.  Last 5km in 14:31, over a hilly Central Park. Two man showdown.

Finish – 2:10:59.  Kipsang your winner


Women’s race: Splits

5km – 17:31, projecting a 2:27:49. Very windy, so the time is exactly what we should expect.

10km – 35:01, projecting 2:27:45, which means it is consistently paced. Everyone together, no surprise at the pace.

15km – 52:18, so the last 5km slightly faster (17:17). Now projecting 2:27:07.

20km – 1:09:45. Consistent pace, 17:27 again. Projected time = 2:27:09

Halfway – 1:13:40, so a 2:27:20 estimated finishing time.  Expect that to be faster, even with the Central Park hills

25km – 1:27:36. Edna Kiplagat, a pre-race favorite has been dropped, and is around 100m back. Big surprise, especially since the pace is not particularly hot (17:55 for the last 5km, slowest of the race, though it does feature bridges and exposed sections)

30km – 1:44:33, so the last 5km were in 16:57, fastest of the race so far.  Jelena Prokupchuka is the aggressor and has put the group under major pressure. Down to six now.

35km – 2:01:48.  Projecting 2:26:50.  El Moukim of Morocco put in a very big move and the group stretched but didn’t break.  It’s now actually swelled to 7, so the pace did drop slightly.  Ominously, Keitany has shown for the first time at the front.  By 40km, I suspect this will be over, but for now it’s six together under some slight pressure from Keitany.

40km – 2:18:00, and 16:12 for the last 5km.  Sumgong and Keitany are clear, the group of six is now a pair of Kenyans.  Last 5km have done all that damage.

Finish – 2:25:03 and Mary Keitany is the champion.  Jemima Sumgong is second, only 2 seconds down.  That was a great finish – Sumgong attacked and actually created a small lead, but Keitany fought, came back and of course once you’ve made a move and it hasn’t stuck, like Sumgong, you rarely get a second chance.  Great finish!


Men’s Race: In-race commentary


Kipsang wins, he led Desisa, taking him on a journey for 5km before finally dropping him with 200m to go.  He looked so serene, just amazing.  Desisa tried a move with 200m to go, but bumped Kipsang’s elbow and Kipsang seemed to look at him with disapprovement, and then dropped the race’s final, and decisive move.

That win is worth $600,000 to Kipsang – $100,000 for the win and $500,000 for the marathon major title.  The definite world number one, who has now won Berlin, London and New York consecutively.  One of them in a (then) world record, one in a course record, and this in an unpaced race.


The problem when women start 30 min before men is that you almost always see the women finishing while the men’s race is breaking open.  That’s happened again today.  We know from splits that Mutai has been dropped, and now Kipsang and Desisa are clear with 5km to go.

I’d like to take a moment to thank the USA-broadcaster for stuffing up the decisive part of the men’s race.  Well done.


We’ve not seen much of the men’s race, but the pace has increased as they hit the Park.  More information to come…


Kipsang the aggressor again, and he is followed by Lusapho April and Desisa.  Geoffrey Mutai has come back but a little more slowly, either measuring his effort or perhaps a little sluggish.  April looks very good too, after his third place last year.

But no sooner than Kipsang had made the move to catch a front-runner that the pack has come back together.  So it’s still 10 men with 12km to go, so this will be really intriguing in the Park.  The pace per 5km has never dropped below 15:30, and that’s because it’s going fast-slow-fast-slow, and there have been many moves, but nothing has stuck.


Wilson Kipsang attacked shortly after halfway, and it was a bigger move than anything so far.  It split the group, and just before they moved onto Manhattan the big three were at the front.  Kipsang was joined by Mutai and Desisa.  The rest of the group are still in touch, so it’s by no means a decisive move, but it has trimmed the group from 16 to 11.  The First Avenue moment should be interesting…

The time at 25km is 1:19:29, and comes after the slowest 5km split of the race (16:13).  This is the same segment that saw the women run 17:51, and that’s because it involves a few bridges and a lot of wind.  The group was cut over this period, so it has become more attritional.


The group remains large, but that’s because the pace is slow.  At 20km there are perhaps 16 men together.  The race often blows up shortly after the turn onto First Avenue, and that lies ahead 5km.  So that’s when we’ll see that group trimmed.


The pace has dropped again, I think the shadow boxing now over.  Meb was off the front for a while, but obviously none of the big names are going to mess up this race like they did in Boston and allow the escape.  Kipsang looked good reacting to it, but now they’re all back in the pack, waiting for the big moves later.  The pace is very, very slow by their standards, but that’s the beauty of New York – tactical not paced, and the challenges of the Central Park final 8km will be really aggressive as a result.


Geoffrey Mutai has gone to the front and is being aggressive very early.  It’s not fast, though it’s difficult to know what the effort is to run 3:10 given the wind.  Mutai has put himself into it, which may not be the wisest move, but his aggression is always great.  I’ll never forget the 2011 race when he set the current course record – his surge in Central Park was the most aggressive marathon running I’ve ever seen.  This is earlier.

Meb then closed the gap, and went through to the front.  Having escaped a group to win Boston, don’t expect the same to happen this time.

The result of this early cut and thrust is that the last 5km have been a little quicker, but not much.  15:32, and so 10km was reached in 31:30.  No surprise then that the group is still large, around 12.


The men hit 5km in 15:58, so that’s 3:12 per kilometer, and that confirms the wind.  New York is always a little slow at the start – the bridge is something of a hill too, but for men of this caliber to be on 2:15 pace says a lot.  Interestingly, Kipsang and Mutai already featuring at the front, so the aggression is there, if not the speed.  Central Park should be quite something later, off a slower pace.


The weather is not good for fast times.  The wind is so strong they had to move the start of the wheelchair race and the women looked like they were in danger of being blown off the bridge over the first few miles.  Perhaps the weather lady from Chicago *(or her New York equivalent) already was.  Hopefully that means we will see more of the athletes.

The wind puts paid to any chance a record by Mutai and Kipsang though.


Welcome to the live coverage of the 2014 New York City Marathon.  The women’s race is underway, 30 minutes to the start of the men’s race.  The women’s race brings together Edna Kiplagat (two time world champ), Buzunesh Dibaba and Mary Keitany, who returns from a two year break.  Prior to that, she was the world’s best.  By a lot, and only Paula Radcliffe has a faster performance.  Keitany returned to run the Great North Run to win in 65:39, and so she is the favourite despite that two year break.

The men’s race features Wilson Kipsang vs Geoffrey Mutai vs Lelisa Desisa, which is an incredible field with London, Boston, New York titles, world records, course records, you name it.  With $500,000 on the line for Kipsang if he wins, and $0 if he doesn’t!  The stakes are high.  If he wins, he adds New York to London and Berlin, while Mutai is looking for three in a row in New York.  What a race!

Above you can find the splits, and my thoughts, as per usual for the Marathon Majors!



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