Geoffrey Mutai, Firehiwot Dado win at NYC Marathon

November 6, 2011 - 1:55 PM
NYC Marathon Athletics

Geoffrey Mutai, of Kenya, runs along 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York on his way to winning with a course record in the men's division at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — Geoffrey Mutai shattered the course record in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, no surprise after he ran the fastest marathon ever earlier this year.

Firehiwot Dado wasn't a favorite coming into the women's race and victory seemed impossible with even a few miles left. But the Ethiopian made a stunning comeback for her first major marathon title

Mutai finished in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 6 seconds, crushing the previous mark of 2:07:43 set by Tesfaye Jifar of Ethiopia a decade earlier.

The 30-year-old has established himself as the favorite at next summer's Olympics after two landmark performances this year — if he even earns a spot on the Kenyan team, the country so deep in the marathon.

In April, Mutai ran the fastest 26.2 miles in history: 2:03:02 in Boston. It didn't count as a world record because the course is considered too straight and too downhill.

"I'm happy to be at that level," he said.

With little wind on a cool, sunny Sunday, the conditions were perfect for fast times. The second- and third-place finishers also broke the old course record. Fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai (no relation), the London Marathon champ, ran a 2:06:28. Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia was third in 2:07:14.

Defending champ Gebre Gebremariam was fourth.

Dado trailed London Marathon champ Mary Keitany by nearly 2½ minutes at the 15-mile mark but passed her with about a mile left. The 27-year-old Dado won in 2:23:15 — almost a minute better than her previous personal best.

"She'd been running so fast from the beginning, I didn't imagine I would catch her," Dado said through a translator.

Fellow Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba, who lives in the Bronx, was second for her first podium finish at a major marathon, four seconds back. It was the second-closest women's finish in the race's history.

Keitany was third, 23 seconds back. The Kenyan was well under course-record pace for much of the race but faded badly over the final miles.

Emmanuel Mutai won a $500,000 bonus as the World Marathon Majors champ.

A record 47,107 runners started the race through the five boroughs.