Running: Kamais, Yamauchi win at NYC Half Marathon
NEW YORK — Peter Kamais of Kenya captured the men’s NYC Half Marathon on Sunday and Mara Yamauchi of England passed American Deena Kastor with two miles to go to win the women’s race in a course record.
Kamais covered the 13.1 miles in 59 minutes, 53 seconds on Sunday, taking the lead in the ninth mile when marathon world-record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia pulled out. The 2007 champion told officials he was suffering from a cold and asthma.
Gebrselassie looked to be in good position to win again as he was in the lead along with Kamais until his sudden exit. The loss was the first in five career races in the United States for Gebrselassie.
Moses Kigen Kipkosgei of Kenya placed second in 1 hour, 39 seconds and Mohamed Trafeh of the U.S. was third in 1:00:40.
Kastor went out fast and Yamauchi struggled early before she began slicing into the American’s lead. She won in 1:09:25 to better the record of 1:09:43 set by 2006 winner Catherine Ndereba of Kenya.
“The first five or six miles I was down in the dumps and Deena went away so fast that I thought, ’Well my race is over,”’ said Yamauchi, who will be one of the favorites in next month’s London marathon. “As we went through Times Square I saw that I was closing the gap on her and just kept on working hard and dug in my heels for the closing miles.”
Kastor, who will also be in London, held off Madai Perez of Mexico by 2 seconds in a sprint finish to take second in 1:09:43
“Mara ran a brilliant tactical race and she went by me so swiftly,” Kastor said. “I wanted to run aggressively today and this was the best I had in me today.”
Kamais and Yamauchi both earned $20,000 for their victories.
More than 11,000 runners started the fifth annual race that was being held in the spring for the first time after being run in the summer since 2006.