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Just how fast was Mary Keitany’s victorious comeback in NYC?

Kenya's Mary Keitany lit up the history books yesterday with her triumphant return to New York, as a look at some of her splits will show

In case you haven’t heard, Mary Keitany ran an incredible race at the TCS New York Marathon yesterday. Her victory (in 2:22:48) marked her as only the second woman besides Norwegian runner Grete Waitz (who won NYC nine times between 1978 and 1988) to win in New York four times. (She won in 2014, 2015, and 2016 also.) But it’s not just the number of wins she’s racked up that elevates Keitany into the pantheon of legendary runners alongside Waitz and others, it’s her incredible speed.

RELATED: Mary Keitany wins the NYC Marathon without the Nike Vaporflys

Keitany ran alone for much of the second half of the race yesterday, breaking the tape three minutes and 14 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Vivian Cheruiyot

As fans helpfully tweeted, Keitany ran an incredible negative split: the first 21.1K in a highly tactical 75:50, and the second in 66:58, her fastest-ever second-half split in NYC, and a whopping 27 seconds faster than Molly Huddles American half-marathon record. 

(Huddle was the second American woman to finish yesterday, in fourth place overall, with a huge personal best of 2:26:44.) And Keitany’s 10K split from 25K to 35K was just one second off Shalane Flanagan‘s 10K American road record. 

(Flanagan finished in third place yesterday, with a time of 2:26:21, 32 seconds faster than her winning time from 2017.) 

However, as another tweeter commented, that 66-minute split was actually more than two minutes off Keitany’s own half-marathon PB, which is 64:55. Which just goes to show that she is in a different league altogether.

Pundits commented on the slowness of the women’s race right up to mile 12, some time after which point Keitany fired up the jets and simply took off.