Koen Naert surprisingly finished fifth on Sunday in the New York Marathon, one of the most prestigious running events in the world. He clocked 2h10:25. Ethiopian Tamirat Tola won in a course record of 2h04:58.
It can be called a stunt, Naert’s fifth place, even though he was already running faster. Sunday’s marathon would be his last full marathon before the Olympic Games in Paris next year.
Naert already walked in New York in 2017. His eighth place was already considered a good achievement at the time, but now he is three places better. He organized his race well and passed tenth halfway through and then moved up well. New York is considered a battle marathon, where times are not the issue. The course is dotted with slopes and there are no hares (runners who lead during the race to determine the pace, without intending to finish themselves). Naert remained far above his personal record of 2h06:56.
Nothing could be done against Tola on Sunday. He ran far away from the competition. Kenyan Albert Korir was second in 2h06:57, Ethiopian Shura Kitata third in 2h07:11.
In the women’s race, Kenyan Hellen Obiri won in 2h27:23. Second place went to Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, the world record holder in the 10,000 meters, who finished in six seconds. Kenyan Sharon Lokedi was third in 2h27:33.