The 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series title came down to the streets of New York City at today’s running of the 43rd ING New York City Marathon. At the Series finale, the $1 million prize was still up for grabs among four race day competitors. After a pair of masterful performances that culminated at the finish line in Central Park, Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede and Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo were crowned champions of the 2012-2013 WMM Series, staking their claim as the top marathon runners in the world. For Kebede’s part, with his second-place finish today, he became the first man to score points in three WMM races in the same calendar year. After victories at the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and 2013 Virgin London Marathon, Kebede arrived in New York as the 2012-2013 Series Leader. He needed only to keep Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich outside of the top two finishers in New York in order to maintain his Series lead. He did just that by finishing second to race champion Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya. Kebede’s recognition at the top world’s top marathon runner comes after finishing fifth in the 2008-2009 Series, second in the 2009-2010 Series, fourth in the 2010-2011 Series, and second in the 2011-2012 Series. In fact, in 12 WMM appearances dating back to 2008, he has never finished outside of the five.
“It is not easy to win the World Marathon Majors,” said Kebede. “This is my dream. I’m very happy to get to this point.”
Jeptoo, the reigning Virgin London Marathon champion and Olympic silver medalist, needed nothing less than victory at the Series finale to catapult to the top of the WMM standings. She delivered a come-from-behind win that illustrated her unparalleled ability at this time in women’s marathon running. Jeptoo overcame a more than three minute deficit to the early race leader at Mile 14 with a fierce rally over the second half of today’s race. Upon breaking the finish tape, she secured the 25 points that she needed to move past reigning Boston and Chicago champion Rita Jeptoo (no relation).
“I wanted to win, but the way I started to run disappointed me,” said Jeptoo. “Toward the finish, I knew I might win. This is a great moment for me. And this day, I will not forget it the rest of my life.”
1. Priscah Jeptoo, Kenya, 75 points
2. Rita Jeptoo, Kenya, 65 points
3. Edna Kiplagat, Kenya, 55 points
4. Sharon Cherop, Kenya, 50 points
5. Atsede Baysa, Ethiopia, 31 points
1. Tsegaye Kebede, Ethiopia, 75 points
2. Wilson Kipsang, Kenya, 61 points
T3. Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda, 50 points
T3. Geoffrey Mutai, Kenya, 50 points
T5. Lelisa Desisa, Ethiopia, 40 points
T5. Dennis Kimetto, Kenya, 40 points