02 NOV 2008 Report New York, USA

Radcliffe retains her title, Gomes dos Santos regains his - New York Marathon report

Familiar picture - Paula Radcliffe's third victory in New York (Getty Images)Familiar picture - Paula Radcliffe's third victory in New York (Getty Images) © Copyright

On a cool, windy day, Britain’s Paula Radcliffe and Brazil’s Marilson Gomes de Santo won their versions of the 39th ING New York City Marathon. Radcliffe wrapped up the victory with five miles to go to win in 2:23:56, while Gomes had to come from behind in the last half mile to finish first in 2:08:43.

The ING New York City Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Behind Radcliffe, now 35, came 40-year-old Ludmila Petrova (RUS) in 2:25:43; American debutante Kara Goucher in 2:25:53; Kenyans Rita Jeptoo (2:27:49) and Catherine Ndereba (2:29:14), and Ethiopian Gete Wami (2:29:45). It was Radcliffe’s third New York victory, and her second in a row.

Behind Gomes, who won this race two years ago and finished eighth last year, was Moroccan Abderrhahim Goumri, in 2:09:07; Kenyan Daniel Rono (2:11:22); 2005 winner Paul Tergat of Kenya (2:13:10); Abderraahin Bouramdame of Morocco (2:13:33); and American Abdi Abdirahman (2:14:17).

Both races developed slowly, picked up speed in the second half, with negative splits for the winners.

Radcliffe gun-to-tape - women's race

Radcliffe, as is her wont, led the women’s race every step of the way, except for a few spots at the water stops when Goucher found herself briefly in the lead.  It was a typical Radcliffe performance, shedding the other members of the lead group one by one like the leaves off a tree. There were ten at six miles; by the half-marathon (in a moderate 1:13:23) they had lost Kim Smith (NZL), Lidia Simon (ROM), Lyubov Morgunova (RUS), and Ndereba. Still with Radcliffe were Goucher, Petrova, Ethiopians Wami and Dire Tune, and Jeptoo.  After mile 15, Radcliffe raised the ante, reeling off successive miles of 5:25, 5:23, 5:20, 5:20, and 5:18. And, rather suddenly, there were only two – Radcliffe and Petrova. After another 5:18, Radcliffe threw in successive miles of 5:12 and 5:13, and swiftly left Petrova behind. Radcliffe was timed for the second half – supposedly the more difficult part of the course – in 1:10:33.

Said Radcliffe, “I talked with my husband, and said, ‘I have to run negative splits.’ It was always my plan to keep comfortable through the halfway and then push the last six miles.” And push she did: her last 6.22 miles (just 9 yards farther than 10,000 metres) in 33:01, a 2:19 pace.

Petrova, who came here hoping to set a new world masters’ record, said, “I thought I would run 2:26, and I actually wanted to break the record.”

Goucher broke Deena Kastor’s American debutante record of 2:26:58 by more than a minute.

Men's race - Gomes comes from behind

In the men’s race,  ten men were in a bunch at the halfway mark in 1:06:16, but going up First Avenue from miles 16-20, Gomes and Goumri broke away from the group and quickly turned it into a two-man affair, with Gomes pushing the pace and Goumri apparently running easily a step behind. Then, at 22 miles, Goumri easily strode into the lead. He pulled away ever so slowly, and seemed to have the race in hand, even though his margin never reached more than 10 seconds. But with 800 metres or so to go, he began to fade, and Gomes came on again and raced away to win by the biggest margin anyone had in the entire race, 24 seconds.

Said Gomes, of his comeback, “I have seen many marathons decided at the last minute, so you never lose hope. You have to keep trying, and I kept pushing even though I was six or seven seconds behind. I got focused, and that’s why I passed him and won the race.”

Goumri blamed his last-mile fadeout on a mistake. “I missed my drinks at four stations, and I think the sugar in my body was not enough, and I think that’s why I did not win the race. When I got the 10-second lead, I thought ‘I think it is my day.’ But when Marilson came back and passed me, I thought, “I can’t win today.”

Gomes Dos Santos will take $165,000 in prize money ($130,000) and a time bonus of $35,000, as did Radcliffe. Behind them Goumri won $95, 000 and Petrova $93,000.

James Dunaway for the IAAF

Leading Results –
MEN -
 1. Marilson Gomes Dos Santos, BRA    2:08:43  
 2. Abderrahim Goumri, MAR            2:09:07  
 3. Daniel Rono, KEN                  2:11:22  
 4. Paul Tergat, KEN                  2:13:10  
 5. Abderrahime Bouramdane, MAR       2:13:33  
 6. Abdi Abdirahman, USA              2:14:17  
 7. Josh Rohatinsky, USA              2:14:23  
 8. Jason Lehmkuhle, USA              2:14:30  
 9. Hosea Rotich, KEN                 2:15:26  
10. Bolota Asmerom, USA               2:16:37  

WOMEN -
 1. Paula Radcliffe, GBR             2:23:56
 2. Ludmila Petrova, RUS             2:25:43  
 3. Kara Goucher, USA                2:25:53  
 4. Rita Jeptoo, KEN                 2:27:49  
 5. Catherine Ndereba, KEN           2:29:14
 6. Gete Wami, ETH                   2:29:25
 7. Dire Tune, ETH                   2:29:28
 8. Lidia Simon, ROU                 2:30:04 
 9. Lyubov Morgunova, RUS            2:30:38
10. Katie McGregor, USA              2:31:14