Despite the unfortunate withdrawal from reigning Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, the final Abbott Major Marathon of the year promised an exciting race with a number of decorated runners to toe the line.
The race split from the start, with a strong contingent of runners forming the lead group.
The group of eleven runners comprised six Kenyans (Kiplagat, Obiri, Cheptoo, Kosgei, Lokedi, Ngugi), two Ethiopians (Zewude Jifar, Gidey), two Americans (Taylor, Huddle), and one Portuguese (Jesus).
The group was inseparable through most of the race, with the entire group of eleven coming through the half in 1:14:21.
It wasn’t until defending champion Sharon Lokedi and Edna Kiplagat of Kenya took to the front and pushed the pace through 35k that the group finally began to splinter.
Only eight runners remained with less than 10k to go, including all six Kenyans, American Kellyn Taylor, and Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey.
Coming through the 40k mark, with less than 3k to go, was Kenyan’s Sharon Lokedi, Hellen Obiri, and Brigid Kosgei, alongside solo Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey.
It would come down to a thrilling sprint finish in the women’s race between Hellen Obiri and Letesenbet Gidey.
Gidey would not be able to match the surge in pace, and it would be Obiri taking the win at the NYC Marathon in 2:27:23.
Gidey followed close behind, placing second in 2:27:29. Rounding out the podium was 2022 NYC Champion Sharon Lokedi, completing the course in 2:27:33.
It was a race owned by the Kenyans, with six placing in the top seven, with Gidey being the only one to disturb their dominance.
The top American woman was Kellyn Taylor, who finished in 2:29:48, ahead of her compatriot Molly Huddle, who completed the course in 2:32:02.