New York is one of the majors in the marathon world. Koen Naert had chosen the Big Apple to start his final straight line towards the Olympic Games.
Not to set his best time, which he ran earlier this year in Rotterdam (2h06’56”), but to run a similar and difficult course like next year in Paris.
Naert had learned his lesson in New York. In 2017 he suffered from cramps and crossed the line in 8th place.
Six years later he organized his match well. Halfway through, Naert finished 10th in 1h03’56”, then picked up his predecessors one by one.
Naert finished 5th in Central Park (in 2h10’25”), the best performance ever by a Belgian in New York.
He finished 3 seconds ahead of vice world champion Maru Teferi. Soon Naert had grabbed vice Olympic champion Abdi Nageeye by the wrists. The Dutchman was only 4 seconds faster.
The Ethiopian Tamirat Tola won in a course record of 2h04’58”. The 2022 world champion made it a tough race in New York and ran far away from the opposition.
At the finish, Tola had a two-minute lead over Kenyan Albert Korir, winner in 2021. For those interested: he was wearing shoes with 3 stripes.
The women turned it into an exciting marathon in New York. Defending champion Sharon Lokedi fought a battle in the final with top athletes Hellen Obiri (2x world champion 5,000 meters) and Letesenbet Gidey (world champion 10,000 meters).
Obiri won. First she left Lokedi behind, then she ran away from Gidey.
In the spring, Obiri also won in Boston.
New York is considered a battle marathon, where times are not the issue. The course is littered with slopes and there are no hares provided.