Robert Cheruiyot came second and Jaouaid Gharib came third. Kwambai dropped out due to dehydration. I dont know what happened to Makau and Dos Santos. Hall was 4th and Ramalaa 6th.
Here is the breakdown.
|2||6||Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot||02:09:56||Kenya||KEN|
|6||9||Hendrick Ramaala||02:12:30||South Africa||RSA|
Patience pays off for Keflezighi
Keflezighi, previously second in 2004 and third in 2005 in this race, ran a canny race to finally deliver on a decade-long effort to bring American champions back to New York.
Running strong with the pack through the early miles, Keflezighi ignored a strength-wasting move led by Hendrick Ramaala on First Avenue. When a pack of ten regrouped for the Bronx section of the race, Keflezighi was in place to cover the move made by James Kwambai which pared the pack down to four.
Heading south into Manhattan, first Gharib and then Kwambai fell off the pace, with Kwambai's training partner, four-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, the last remaining rival. Kwambai would eventually drop out, struggling with dehydration issues.
And they are...off!
Keflezighi took the lead for the first time when he broke away from Cheruiyot as the pair entered Central Park from 5th Avenue at 90th Street.
"I beat [Cheruiyot] in 2005 here [in New York]," said Keflezighi. With 2 miles to go, I gave a push, and he let me go. I just kept expanding the lead."
Cheruiyot cross the line in 2:09:56 with Moroccan Jaouad Gharib third in 2:10:25.
Here is Meb winning with Cheruiyot some 40 seconds behind.
Victory caps notable comeback
Keflezighi's victory also represented the U.S. marathon championship, as that race was run concurrently with the ING New York City Marathon. It was Keflezighi's first ever marathon victory, and capped a comeback year in which the Athens medallist won national championships at the half-marathon and 7-mile distances on the road, as well as the national cross country championships.
Keflezghi lost most of his 2008 season struggling with injuries which had also kept him off the U.S. Olympic team in the marathon, denying him the ability to defend his Olympic silver medal.
As in 2007, when the U.S. Olympic Trials - Men's Marathon finished in the same spot in Central Park, Keflezeghi wept after crossing the finish line. In 2007, it was grief when he learned of the death of his training partner Ryan Shay earlier in the race. Today, Keflezighi said, "I had dreamed of winning both [races]. The memory of Ryan Shay was what I cried for. It was one [win] for him and one for me."
"To be able to win this race is very, very special to me."
Keflezighi was the first American winner in New York since Alberto Salazar in 1982. Starting in 2001, when the race also hosted the USA championships, and continuing through the Trials in 2007, the host New York Road Runners have been part of a movement to develop American marathoners capable of challenging for the win here. Keflezighi was followed in fourth place by Ryan Hall (2:10:36) as six American men finished in the top 10.