ING's 39th New York City Marathon
New York, NY, USA
Sunday, November 2, 2008

Distance: 42.195 km, certified, point-to-point, challenging, 5.5 meter total elevation loss (negligible)
Prize Money: See details below; in addition to cash winners received a Toyota Prius automobile
Course and Event Records: Men, 2:07:43, Tesfaye Jifar (ETH), 2001; Women, 2:22:31, Margaret Okayo (KEN), 2003
Race Director: Mary Wittenberg

     The term “one for the record books” is often bandied about after races, but the 39th edition of the ING New York City Marathon probably merits that sobriquet. If not precisely “one for the books” it certainly turned out to be a race that will keep the scriveners busy for a while. While no major marks were broken (women’s winner Paula Radcliffe felt the blustery, chilly winds might have cost her the course record) several secondary ones fell, most notably the women’s masters world record of 2:26:51 set by Britain’s Priscilla Welch in London 21 years ago. Ludmila Petrova, who won here in 2000, dogged Radcliffe for 24 miles before being the last to succumb to the Briton’s relentless and relentlessly quickening pace and clocked 2:25:43 to place second.
     Another record-breaker followed one place and 10 seconds behind Petrova; Kara Goucher’s 2:25:53 is the fastest debut by an American woman, bettering the 2:26:58 run by Deena Kastor in 2001. That was also the American women’s course record, which also now belongs to Goucher, who is the third fastest American woman ever. And Radcliffe’s third NYCM win, in 2:23:56, gave her sole possession of second place on the female victory list, one third of the way toward the amazing total of nine amassed by the legendary Grete Waitz in the 70s and 80s.
     Marilson Gomes dos Santos put his name on the multiple victors list as well, staging a comeback victory over Morocco’s Abderrahim Goumri, passing him in the final mile on Central Park South after relinquishing the lead some two miles earlier as the duo entered the park for the first time. The Brazilian joins half a dozen other men who have won this race at least twice; when he won here in 2006, he employed a different strategy by breaking away far earlier in the race, on First Avenue, and many felt the others didn’t take the relative unknown seriously then, allowing him to “steal” the race.
     He employed a similar tactic this year, but it was more of a feint than a definitive break. The real move came from Goumri a few miles later. Between 19 and 23 miles the lead pack of 13 dropped off one by one, with dos Santos, who had counter-attacked on the Willis Avenue Bridge where the course takes its small excursion into the Bronx before returning to Manhattan for the finish, the last to go, although he never allowed Goumri’s lead to grow to more than 10 seconds.
     It seemed that margin would remain for the final 5K but as the pair ran along the city street on the southern border of the park the Moroccan’s turnover slowed visibly (he later blamed a missed fluid bottle for his energy loss) and dos Santos seemed to blow past him with Usain Bolt-like rapidity. He pulled away decisively on the final uphill approach to the finish to win by 24 seconds, 2:08:43 to 2:09:07, 1:15 faster than he ran two years ago.
     Kenyans Daniel Rono and 2005 champ Paul Tergat came next, followed by Morocco’s Abderrahime Bouramdane, second in Boston this year. Then came a slew of Americans; Abdi Abdirahman (sixth, 2:14:17), Josh Rohatinsky (seventh, 2:14:23), and Jason Lehmkuhle (eighth, 2:14:30), with Bolota Asmerom and Luke Humphrey in 10th and 11th in 2:16:37 and 2:18:38. It was the most American men to place in the top 10 in New York since 1982, when Alberto Salazar’s victory in 2:09:25 led five Americans in the top 10.
     Salazar remained a factor in the race via his coaching of Goucher, who many feel may be the next great American hope in the women’s marathon. “He told me he believes I was built to do this, and he trained me the way he trained himself, and I just put all my faith in that,” she said. “I’ll go away from this much more prepared the next time.” Goucher proved an apt pupil, following in Radcliffe’s footsteps for more than half the race before the Briton’s inexorably increasing pace dropped her, along with everyone else. “I figured I’d do what Gete (Wami) did last year and just tuck behind whoever was leading and just gut it out as long as possible,” said Goucher. “I got broken, with maybe 8 miles to go, and I kind of slipped back into fourth or fifth, and then I had to regroup because I was telling myself, it’s 10K you can do this, pull it together.”
     Radcliffe won her third New York title the way she wins every marathon, with relentless front-running, even if it meant doing all the work into the teeth of a stiff chilly headwind that buffeted the runners most of the way. This time, she ran significantly negative splits (1:13:23/1:10:33), with each mile a second or two faster than the previous one.
     Wami, who had shadowed Radcliffe to the final mile last year, was an earlier victim of her rival’s pacesetting this year. By failing to place in the top two she lost her chance to win a second consecutive World Marathon Majors title and the accompanying half million-dollar check. Instead, she remained in a tie with Germany’s Irina Mikitenko, who was awarded the 2007-2008 WMM title by a vote of the directors of the five races that make up the series.
     Unofficially, 37,750 runners finished the race, the third largest total in its history, and still the greatest number of finishers in a marathon this year.

 1. Marilson Gomes Dos Santos, BRA    2:08:43     $130,000 + 35,000i
 2. Abderrahim Goumri, MAR            2:09:07       65,000 + 30,000i
 3. Daniel Rono, KEN                  2:11:22       40,000 +   5000i
 4. Paul Tergat, KEN                  2:13:10       25,000
 5. Abderrahime Bouramdane, MAR       2:13:33       15,000
 6. Abdi Abdirahman, USA              2:14:17       10,000
 7. Josh Rohatinsky, USA              2:14:23 PB      7500
 8. Jason Lehmkuhle, USA              2:14:30         5000
 9. Hosea Rotich, KEN                 2:15:26         2500
10. Bolota Asmerom, USA               2:16:37 PB       500
11. Luke Humphrey, MI, USA            2:18:38
12. Hendrick Ramaala, RSA             2:19:11
13. Mohammed Awol, NY, USA            2:19:13
14. Kassahun Kabiso, NY (ETH)         2:19:54
15. Jacob Frey, VA, USA               2:20:17
16. Genna Tufa, NY (ETH)              2:20:23
17. Kyle Shackleton, CA, USA          2:20:38
18. Teklu Tefera Deneke, NY (ETH)     2:20:47
19. Boaz Cheboiywo, MI (KEN)          2:21:40 PB
20. Deresse Deniboba, NY (ETH)        2:21:54 PB
21. John Henwood, NY (NZL)            2:21:55
22. Sergey Kaledin, RUS               2:22:34
23. Edvard Gapak, NY (UKR)            2:22:37 PB
24. Greg Costello, IL, USA            2:22:55
25. Dan Mcgrath, NY, USA              2:23:04
26. Francesco Minerva, ITA            2:23:19
27. Brendan Callahan, CT, USA         2:23:25
28. Toshiya Katayama, JPN             2:24:45
29. Nate Jenkins, MA, USA             2:25:37
30. Rudy Magagnoli, ITA               2:25:50
31. Miguel Nuci, CA, USA              2:25:53
32. Gilberto Pallotta, ITA            2:26:09
33. Pasquale Rutigliano, ITA          2:26:27
34. Michael Cassidy, NY, USA          2:27:02
35. Chris Graff, MD, USA              2:27:55
36. Juan Vazquez Sanchez, ESP         2:28:12
37. Steven Ryan, PA, USA              2:28:14
38. Hermann Achmueller, ITA           2:28:28
39. Achour Saad, FRA                  2:29:05
40. Anders Szalkai, SWE               2:29:38
41. Paolo Bravi, ITA                  2:29:48
42. Sage Canaday, OR, USA             2:30:06

 1. Paula Radcliffe, GBR             2:23:56      $130,000 + 35,000i
 2. Ludmila Petrova, RUS             2:25:43 @      65,000 + 25,000i
 3. Kara Goucher, USA                2:25:53 DB *   40,000 + 25,000i
 4. Rita Jeptoo, KEN                 2:27:49        25,000 + 10,000i
 5. Catherine Ndereba, KEN           2:29:14        15,000
 6. Gete Wami, ETH                   2:29:25        10,000
 7. Dire Tune, ETH                   2:29:28          7500
 8. Lidia Simon, ROU                 2:30:04          5000
 9. Lyubov Morgunova, RUS            2:30:38          2500
10. Katie Mcgregor, USA              2:31:14 PB       1000
11. Magdalena Lewy Boulet, CA, USA   2:33:56
12. Hayley Haining, GBR              2:35:11
13. Lucy Macalister, GBR             2:39:25
14. Sally Meyerhoff, AZ, USA         2:40:57
15. Ilsa Paulson, AZ, USA            2:41:17 PB
16. Robyn Friedman, IA, USA          2:41:21
17. Melisa Christian, TX, USA        2:42:33
18. Katarina Janosikova, NY (SVK)    2:42:57 PB
19. Sopagna Eap, SC, USA             2:43:29
20. Victoria Ganushina, NY (UKR)     2:43:55
21. Laurie Knowles, GA, USA          2:45:16
22. Caroline Bierbaum, NY, USA       2:46:36 PB
23. Megan Daly, CA, USA              2:47:41
24. Laurence Klein-Fricotteaux, FRA  2:47:49
25. Lucilla Andreucci, ITA           2:48:03
26. Marta Fernandez, ESP             2:49:35
27. Meseret Kotu, NY (ETH)           2:50:06
28. Abbi Gleeson, NY, USA            2:50:22 PB
29. Tracy Joslin, VT, USA            2:51:06 #
30. Jamie Sutherland, NY, USA        2:51:18 #
31. Elisabeth Ruel, CAN              2:51:23 #
32. Abby Dean, PA, USA               2:51:26
33. Arianne Field, NY, USA           2:51:49 #
34. Sheila Casey, NJ, USA            2:52:01 #
35. Nathalie Vasseur, FRA            2:52:36
35. Rachel Foss Viele, CO, USA       2:52:36 #
37. Danielle Quatrochi, OR, USA      2:52:39 #
38. Melissa Gacek, MN, USA           2:52:44
39. Cecilia Fager, SWE               2:53:57 #
40. Kerin Hempel, NY, USA            2:54:05 #
41. Christine Hoffmann, NY, USA      2:54:12 #
42. Felice Kelly, NY, USA            2:54:14 #
43. Megan Guiney, NJ, USA            2:54:39 #
44. Ana Johnson, NY, USA             2:55:00 #
45. Mary Gill, NC, USA               2:55:15 #
46. Jill Vollweiler, NY, USA         2:55:16 #
47. Eliza Mayger, AUS                2:55:26
48. Eva Christina Trost, GER         2:55:34
49. Clare Martin, GRR                2:55:39
50. Nathalie Goyer, CAN              2:55:41 #
51. Lindsay Rinnan Mangold, CO, USA  2:55:55 #
52. Aimee Baylor, PA, USA            2:56:01 #
53. Karen Hazlitt, GBR               2:56:47
53. Michaela McCallum, GRB           2:56:47
55. Allison Krausen, CO, USA         2:56:59 #
56. Christina Greis, SWE             2:57:13 #
57. Esther Hidalgo, ESP              2:57:25 #
58. Daniela Vassalli, ITA            2:57:36 #
59. Katherine Herring, AL, USA       2:57:37 #
60. Silvia Luna, ITA                 2:57:50

@ world masters record, previous 2:26:51, Priscilla Welch, London, 1987.
* US debut record, previous 2:26:58, Deena Kastor, 2001, New York City
# non-profession field