Belay Tilahun of Ethiopia and Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya won their New York City racing debuts in the open division
Tilahun, a 24-year-old member of West Side Runners, recorded his surprise victory in a time of 1:02:10 with an exciting kick through the final two miles.
“I was feeling quite cold at the beginning, but as I was warming up, I began to feel better. After about 15 kilometers, I was confident that I could win. So I used the finishing kick that I had to win,” Tilahun said.
Eritrea’s Daniel Mesfun finished second in 1:02:16 after leading for the majority of the race, while U.S. Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo took third in 1:02:19 in his half-marathon debut.
A record eight American men finished in the top 10 in the open division, as Chelimo was followed by Jared Ward, Noah Droddy, Brogan Austin, Tim Ritchie, John Raneri, Parker Stinson, and Ben True, respectively.
In the women’s open division, Jepkosgei, the half marathon world record-holder, won her first-ever race in the United States on a solo run to the finish in a time of 1:10:07. The world championship silver medalist in the distance became the sixth woman from Kenya to win the event, and the first to do so since 2014. “This season I am preparing to debut in the marathon, and this was a great half marathon to see how my body feels,” Jepkosgei said.
Fellow Kenyan Mary Ngugi came through the finish line one minute later in 1:11:07 to take second place, 15-hundredths of a second ahead of last year’s champion, Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba.
Emma Bates, the 2018 USATF Marathon champion, was the top American in the women’s open division, taking fourth place in 1:11:13. She was followed by 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden in fifth place in 1:11:22.
posted Tuesday March 19th