IN NEW YORK CITY
Little Allan Kiprono Kiplagat Sunday morning told his father that mum would finish second at the New York City Marathon.
The five-year-old had in April this year predicted that her superstar mother would win the London Marathon.
And twice, he was right.
Olympic 5,000 metres champion Vivian Cheruiyot, Allan’s mother, did win the London Marathon and on Sunday she did finish second in New York.
Family support played a huge role in the results of the TCS New York Marathon with Mary Keitany winning her fourth title at the “Big Apple” ahead of Cheruiyot.
Keitany ran a brilliant second half to win in two hours, 22 minutes and 48 seconds with Cheruiyot second just over three minutes behind in 2:26:02.
Both Kenyans are accompanied here by their families, Cheruiyot’s husband and coach Moses Kiplagat travelling along with the young Kiprono and Keitany boosted to the second fastest time ever here by her husband-coach Charles Koech and children Samantha (five) and Jared (10).
Keitany’s winning time had an amazing second half split of 66:58 that blew away her opponents.
“I’m always comfortable when I’m with my family at the races as I don’t have to think about them being back home,” Keitany, 36, said.
“It gives me time to relax and focus on my race, and I also have to try my best and make them happy because they will be waiting for me at the finish line and I wouldn’t want to disappoint them.
“In the morning, my children woke up and told me ‘mummy, you are going to win’ and they prayed for me. This gave me the motivation.”
Cheruiyot’s husband Kiplagat added that young Allan woke up early and told him that his mother would finish second.
“At the London marathon, he had told me that her mother would win and today he said she would be second. He’s sort of a prophet,” Kiplagat said.
He added that Cheruiyot had been battling injury in the last few weeks, the Olympic champion also revealing that she cancelled most of her training.
“I had to cancel most of the training for the last two weeks. I had an ankle injury, knee and calf and so I’m happy to finish second,” Cheruiyot said.
American defending champion Shalane Flanagan was third in 2:26:22.
Defending men’s champion Geoffrey Kamworor settled for bronze in 2:06:26 behind Ethiopians Lelisa Desisa (2:05:59) and Shura Kitata (2:06:01).
Desisa, third here last year in 2:11:23, said he had stomach problems then, and conditions were good this time round.
“Last time, when I entered Central Park, I had a stomach upset, but this year, it was different. It happens. This year I controlled myself with my teammate and coach,” Desisa said after winning the race in a sprint finish with compatriot Kitata.
Kamworor, who is also the world half marathon and cross country champion, said he was happy with second place.
“I’m happy to be on the podium. I tried my best and I’m happy about the result,” Kamworor said.
It was an emotional day for race director Peter Ciaccia, the New York Road Runners’ director of events, who was handling his final race before retiring after serving in the annual race’s organization for 18 years.
“Do I have clearance on the runway,” Ciaccia’s voice blasted through the public address system on Staten Island where the race started at 8.20am, local time with the wheelchair competition.
“Lead vehicles start rolling… on your marks… go!”
Fittingly, the field of over 50,000 took off in waves to Frank Sinatra’s rendition of John Kander’s 1977 composition New York, New York, the theme song for Martin Scorsese’s film with the same name.
“New York, New York, I wanna wake up in a city that never sleeps, and find I’m a number one, top of the list, king of the hill, a number one…”
After showers on Friday and Saturday, the weather held with starting time temperatures at five degrees Celsius under clear skies, conditions that got warmer as the race progressed, ideal marathon conditions.
Results from the New York Marathon :
1. Mary Keitany (Kenya) 2:22:48
2. Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) 2:26:02
3. Shalane Flanagan (USA) 2:26:22
4. Molly Huddle (USA) 2:26:44
5. Rahma Tusa (Ethiopia) 2:27:13
6. Desiree Linden (USA) 2:27:51
7. Allie Keiffer (USA) 2:28:12
8. Lisa Weightman (Australia) 2:29:11
9. Mamitu Daska (Ethiopia) 2:30:31
10. Belaynesh Fikadu (Ethiopia) 2:30:47
1. Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) 2:05:59
2. Shura Kitata (Ethiopia) 2:06:01
3. Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) 2:06:26
4. Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) 2:08:30
5. Daniel Wanjiru (Kenya) 2:10:21
6. Jared Ward (USA) 2:12:24
7. Scott Fauble (USA) 2:12:28
8. Festus Talam (Kenya) 2:12:40
9. Shadrack Biwott (USA) 2:12:52
10. Chris Derrick (USA) 2:13:03.