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Sub-elite runner third at TCS New York City Marathon

Kamworor, the 2017 New York Marathon champion, is once again the king of NYC but who was the runner in third?

Geoffrey Kamworor, the 2017 New York Marathon champion, is once again the king of NYC. The half-marathon world record holder broke the field with roughly 7K to go to take the win on Sunday in 2:08:13. Second place went to Albert Korir in 2:08:36. (Korir won this year’s Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in 2:08:03 back in May.)

But third place finisher, Girma Bekele Gebre, is the story of the day. Gebre entered the race with a 2:13 personal best and shattered it on Sunday, running 2:08:38 for third. The runner, who ran in bib number 443 (a non-elite bib) finished in a nearly five-minute personal best in by far the best race of his life. The men ran an extremely conservative half, coming through 21.1K in 1:04 in a pack of 15 runners. This was in stark contrast to the women’s race, where the leaders ran a quick first half (1:11) before the three biggest threats broke away.

Gebre didn’t receive an elite bib, but as a result of the men’s slow pace through the first half, he was able to keep up. He won the Airbnb Brooklyn Half-Marathon in May 2017 in 1:04:56 (and split nearly the same time through his marathon on Sunday.) He’s a New York-based Ethiopian who reportedly trains with the West Side Runners.


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Lelisa Desisa, the 2019 marathon world champion, did not finish Sunday’s race. Desisa, who was a favourite to win Sunday’s 42.2K, didn’t record a split after seven miles (just over 10K). The runner was also the reigning New York Marathon champion.

Top three finishers at NYC 2019

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Jared Ward was the first American across the line for sixth place in 2:10:45. Ward becomes the one of the 15 American men to run under 2:12:20 in 2019.

Full results can be found here.