Kenyans Albert Korir and Peres Jepchirchir win New York City Marathon: NPR
TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP via Getty Images
The iconic New York City Marathon kicked off in person on Sunday for the first time since it was canceled last year and has turned into a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s race saw a series of new health and safety measures to prevent the massive competition from turning into a super-spreader event.
Peres Jepchirchir from Kenya won the women’s division, overtaking the peloton with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, 39 seconds. The 28-year-old triumphed in the race just three months after winning the gold medal in the women’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics.
Albert Korir, also from Kenya, won first prize in the men’s division, finishing the marathon in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 22 seconds. Korir clinched second place in 2019.
Earlier in the day there were the professional division wheelchair races, which saw Swiss competitor Marcel Hug to become the men’s champion, finishing with an unofficial time of 1 hour, 31 minutes and 24 seconds. Madison de Rozario, from Australia, won the first prize for women, with a time of 1 hour, 51 minutes and 1 second.
This year’s race is the 50th New York Marathon. The first, held in 1970, cost only $ 1 and hosted 127 registered runners, only 55 of whom crossed the finish line.
Kena Betancur / AFP via Getty Images
In five decades, the marathon has become the largest in the world, according to organizers, with 53,640 participants in 2019.
For this year’s race, the number of runners fell to over 30,000, many of whom were running after being unable to compete last year, and the specter of the pandemic still loomed over the race in the form of demands. increases in public health.
Timothy Clary / AFP via Getty Images
Runners had to show proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccination cycle or negative coronavirus test within the previous 48 hours. The organizers have increased the number of starting waves to avoid congestion. And fuel and hydration belts were allowed this year, while marathon staff and volunteers were instructed to hand finishers their medals and ponchos rather than wrapping them around runners’ necks.
Yet the fans and spectators took to the streets along the 26.2-mile highway through New York’s five boroughs to cheer on runners for the first time in two years.