Mom Wins Nyc Marathon
Paula Radcliffe wins NYC Marathon after giving birth in January; Martin Lel wins
By MELISSA MURPHY, AP Sports Writer
November 4, 2007
NEW YORK (AP) -- Paula Radcliffe outlasted Gete Wami to win the New York City Marathon on Sunday, her first marathon in two years after giving birth in January.
Martin Lel of Kenya won the men's title, making his kick in the final mile to edge Abderrahim Goumri of Morocco in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 4 seconds in the first race without a pacesetter. Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa finished third in 2:11:25.
Radcliffe, the world-record holder, ran almost the entire race with Wami on her heels before pulling away over the last mile. She finished in 2:23:09 in cool, sunny conditions. It's her second NYC Marathon title, having won in 2004 after a dropping out of the Athens Olympics marathon.
"I was nervous at the start, but not that nervous because I was so happy to be back here," Radcliffe said.
Wami, running her second marathon in only 35 days, finished in 2:23:32 and won the inaugural $500,000 World Marathon Majors title.
Two-time defending champion Jelena Prokopcuka was a distant third in 2:26:13, a day after elite runner Ryan Shay collapsed and died at the U.S. men's marathon trails in Central Park. There was a moment of silence for Shay before the start of the men's race.
Lel and Goumri reprised their finish at the London Marathon in April, when Lel won by 3 seconds in Goumri's first marathon.
Lel won his second NYC Marathon, adding to his 2003 title.
Olympic champ Stefano Baldini of Italy was fourth, and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong finished 698th in 2:46:43.
The 33-year-old Radcliffe was greeted by her husband Gary Lough and daughter Isla at the finish line. She hadn't run a marathon since the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, but ran during her pregnancy, including 12 days after she gave birth.
Radcliffe and Wami made it a two-woman race early. They extended their lead to 2 minutes at the 10-mile mark ahead of Lidiya Grigoryeva of Russia, Catherine Ndereba of Kenya and Prokopcuka.
Wami, of Ethiopia, was right behind Radcliffe the entire race.
"I felt quite relaxed," Radcliffe said. "I knew she was behind me, but she was alongside so it wasn't so annoying."
By the 20-mile mark, they led by 3:33. Radcliffe pulled away as she entered Central Park at mile 24, but Wami took a brief lead with about a mile to go. Radcliffe then bolted past her and kept going, pulling away for the victory.
"This is mine, this is mine," Radcliffe chanted to herself down the stretch.
Boston winner Lidiya Grigoryeva was fourth in 2:28:37 and Ndereba followed in 2:29:08. The top five women finishers have a combined 20 major marathon titles.
Without a pacesetter, the men were bunched in a pack of 13 runners at the 10-mile mark. Baldini joined the pack at the 12-mile mark.
Defending champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos finished eighth in 2:13:47.
The race included 39,085 runners at the start.