NYC Men’s Marathon — Chebet Stayed Away From A Killer Early Pace

Evans Chebet was some 2:00 behind the leader at halfway but emerged on top with his 2:08:41. (GIANCARLO COLOMBO/PHOTO RUN)

NEW YORK CITY, November 06 — Evans Chebet emerged from the wreckage of Daniel do Nascimento’s ambitious early pace to win the men’s division of the TCS New York City Marathon.

The 33-year-old Kenyan timed his surges perfectly over the relentlessly undulating 5-borough course after trailing the Brazilian by more than 2:00 at halfway.

On an unseasonably warm morning — when the gun went off, the temperature was 68F/20C (and rising into the low 70s) with 80% humidity — most of the field was content to run cautiously. But do Nascimento surged coming off the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge from Staten Island into Brooklyn in the second mile and immediately opened a huge gap.

The leader, who set his PR 2:04:51 in Seoul in April, hit the 5K mark in 14:31 and followed up with a boggling 14:11 to come through 10K in 28:42 — ahead of WR pace. Meanwhile, defending champion Albert Korir of Kenya (30:09) was at the front of a 13-man chase group that was content to wait for do Nascimento to crash and burn.

Even as his tempo eased up slightly, do Nascimento continued to hammer and reached halfway in 1:01:22. Compare that to the 1:03:18 split that Geoffrey Mutai ran when he set the NYC record (2:05:06) in ’11.

The question seemed to be not if the pack would catch him, but when. “I knew how far the other runner was ahead, but I also knew that it was hot and he was going at a high pace,” Chebet, this year’s Boston winner, said. “And knowing that I have a lot of experience, I knew that I was going to surpass him.”

The chase group (1:03:35) was starting to break apart and now only 7 remained: Chebet, Korir of Kenya, Tokyo silver medalist Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands, Shura Kitata of Ethiopia, Galen Rupp of the U.S., Mohamed El Aaraby of Morocco and Suguru Osako of Japan.

In perhaps one of the most dramatic moments in the history of a race known for drama do Nascimento stepped off the course just before 30K to briefly use a portable toilet along the side of Manhattan’s 1st Avenue. His lead cut to just over a minute, he appeared to be struggling. Chebet, meanwhile had covered the segment between 25K and 30K in 14:37 (his fastest of the day) to pull clear of the chase pack.

Then, in the 21st mile, do Nascimento stopped, staggered and fell to the ground. Medical personnel arrived quickly and moved him off the course. After carefully navigating his way around the lead pace car that had stopped when the Brazilian went down, Chebet officially moved into the lead and looked comfortable.

Kitata was steadily gaining ground over the final miles, but could get no closer than 12 seconds at 40K. Chebet, who owns a 2:03:00 PR, crossed the line in 2:08:41, picking up $100,000 for his efforts. He became the first man to win Boston and New York in the same year since Mutai in ’11.

Kitata (2:08:54) was the only other runner who could manage sub-2:10, while Nageeye (2:10:31), El Aaraby (2:11:00) and Osako (2:11:31) rounded up the top 10.

Rupp, plagued by injuries all year, dropped out in the 18th mile and Scott Fauble (2:13:35) wound up as the top American, finishing 9th. “I just kind of kept having faith that people would come back to me,” said Fauble, who was also the first U.S. finisher (7th) in Boston in April. “Look, obviously I would love to feel like I’m able to go with that front group, but it was going to be a horrible decision.”


1. Evans Chebet (Ken) 2:08:41; 2. Shura Kitata (Eth) 2:08:54; 3. Abdi Nageeye (Neth) 2:10:31; 4. Mohamed El Aaraby (Mor) 2:11:00; 5. Suguru Osako (Jpn) 2:11:31; 6. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Jpn) 2:12:12; 7. Albert Korir (Ken) 2:13:27; 8. Daniele Meucci (Ita) 2:13:29; 9. Scott Fauble (US) 2:13:35; 10. Reed Fischer (US) 2:15:23;… dnf—Abdi Abdirahman (US), Daniel do Nascimento (Bra) (1:01:22), Galen Rupp (US). ◻︎