The top three finishers (L to R) Geoffrey Kamworor, Stanley Biwott (champion), and Lelisa Desisa (171688)
Credit: Bill Moore photos

It was just a matter of time before newly minted 2015 TCS New York City Marathon men’s champion Stanley Biwott maneuvered into the company of the great distance runners in history.

The 29-year-­old Kenyan had already proved he was on par with the planet’s best marathoners, announcing himself as elite in 2009 with his 2:11:19 victory in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the fastest time ever run in South America. Confirming it after capturing Paris in 2012 with a course record time of 2:05:11, Biwott took aim at America’s landscape.

A fifth-place ending in New York in 2013 emboldened Biwott. Two years later, his bona fides have been forever cemented.

Separating himself from Lelisa Desisa and Geoffrey Kamworor in Central Park as the trio entered the final stages of the grueling race, Biwott employed strides that were simultaneously graceful and powerful to break the tape in 2:10:34 and earn the $100,000 winner’s check.

“When I reached the park, I knew the course,” said Biwott. “So I was able to maintain high speed, knowing that in a few kilometers, I would reach the finish line.”

Fellow Kenyan Kamworor was second in 2:10:48. Desisa, from Ethiopia, the 2013 and 2015 Boston Marathon winner, and the favorite to conquer New York in the view of many coming into Sunday, faltered in the last mile and a half and was a well-beaten third in a time of 2:12:10.

The 2014 New York champion Wilson Kipsang ceased being a threat to overtake Biwott shortly past Columbus Circle and registered a fourth-place finish in 2:12:45. Meb Keflezighi, one of the marathon’s cognoscenti and fans’ most endearing personalities, and the 2009 New York winner, led all American runners with a time of 2:13:32, and at 40 ­years­ old, he set a new American master’s record.

It was a memorable day for the more than 50,000 runners who began the marathon. However, Sunday was unmistakably Biwott’s moment to shine.