Albert Korir had a keen understanding of what was required of him to win the 50th anniversary staging of the 26.2-mile TCS New York City Marathon this past Sunday. He had come close in 2019, the last time the event was held after being cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finishing second––2:08:13 to 2:08:36––to his Kenyan countrymen Geoffrey Kamworor.
Two years later the 27-year-old Korir was laser-focused and flawlessly executed his plan. He reserved overconfidence in respecting the talented field of elite competitors and strategically traversed the five-borough course. Korir separated himself from his closest challengers in Mile 20 and remained ahead of the pack for the last six miles. When he broke the tape in 2:08:22, Korir could not contain the jubilation of victory, thrusting his right fist toward the sparkling sky above Central Park.
“I didn’t imagine that I would win today,” he said. “This journey began three months ago, when I knew that I would be running the New York City Marathon. This was all a result of my hard training…” Korir’s regiment helped him maintain a pace of 4:54 per mile.
Morocco’s Mohamed El Aaraby registered 2:09:06 for second and Eritrean born Eyob Faniel, who became a naturalized Italian citizen in 2015 and represents the country in races, placed third in 2:09:52. Kenyan native Elkanah Kibet, an alumnus of Auburn University, recorded his fastest marathon time in clocking 2:11:15 to come in fourth, the highest placing for an American man in this year’s Marathon. Currently serving in the Army as a financial management technician, Kibet, who became a U.S. citizen in 2013, competes for the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
In the men’s wheelchair race, Switzerland’s Marcel Hug garnered his fourth NYC Marathon title, adding Sunday’s gold medal to his wins in 2013, 2016 and 2017. The 35-year-old came across the line in 1:31:24, convincingly besting runner up David Weir (1:38:01) of the United Kingdom, the 2010 NYC Marathon champion. Two-time (2018, 2019) NYC winner Daniel Romanchuk of the United States secured third in 1:38:22.