Track and Field

Lanni Marchant's NYC Marathon performance sets new bar for Canadian distance runners

Mary Keitany of Kenya won her third consecutive New York City Marathon on Sunday, while Lanni Marchant posted the fastest time at the event for a Canadian woman and finished seventh.

Mary Keitany of Kenya wins for the 3rd-straight time

Canada's Lanni Marchant, shown in this file photo, set an unofficial Canadian record during her seventh-place finish in the New York Marathon on Sunday. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Mary Keitany of Kenya won her third consecutive New York City Marathon on Sunday, while Lanni Marchant posted the fastest time at the event for a Canadian woman and finished seventh.

Marchant, 32, completed the race in two hours, 33 minutes and 50 seconds.

The London, Ont., native was making her debut in the event. In previous years, Marchant had been chasing qualifying standards for various events, and so scheduled her racing accordingly

Teammate Marilyn Arsenault, the Canadian record holder in the 45-49 category, posted a time of 2:54:19 and finished 34th overall.

Keity, 34, defended her title Sunday in an unofficial time of 2:24:26, beating countrywoman Joyce Chepkirui by nearly four minutes.

Last year, Keitany pulled away around the 21-mile mark. On Sunday, she began getting a sizable lead at the 15-mile mark as the race crossed the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan.

Keitany reached Manhattan in less than 90 minutes. As she began running up First Avenue, television commentators referred to her as "The Boss of New York City," and following the 20-mile mark, Keitany led by more than two minutes. Molly Huddle placed third in her debut after setting an American record at the 10,000 meters in the Rio Olympics.

Ghebreslassie wins in NYC debut

Eritrea's Ghirmay Ghebreslassie was the winner in the men's field, finishing his debut in New York with an unofficial time of 2:07:51.

Vancouver's Rob Watson posted a time of 2:36:48 to finish 68th.

For most of the course, the men's field was a three-man race between Ghebreslassie, Kenya's Lucas Rotich and Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa. By mile 20, Ghebreslassie gradually began pulling away.

The 20-year-old beat Rotich by 62 seconds and became the youngest male winner in New York. The previous youngest male winners were Alberto Salazar in 1980 and Tom Fleming in 1973, who won as 22-year-olds.

Defending champion Stanley Biwott withdrew at the 10-mile mark with a right calf injury. He also dropped out in the Rio Olympics after getting sick.

American Abdi Abdirahman placed third.

Desisa, who was the runner-up in New York in 2014 and a two-time Boston Marathon winner, dropped out at the 22nd mile.

McFadden completes sweep

Tatyana McFadden has swept the four major marathons for the fourth straight year by winning the New York City Marathon women's wheelchair race.

The 27-year-old American finished Sunday with an unofficial time of 1:47:43. She again completed the Grand Slam by winning in London, Boston, Chicago and New York, extending her record streak to 17 straight wins in major marathons.

McFadden, who won six medals at the Rio Paralympics, took the lead for good at the 15-mile mark and comfortably led the rest of the course to win for the fifth time in New York.

Marcel Hug of Switzerland won his second NYC Marathon title in the men's race and his sixth marathon this year. He edged Australia's Kurt Fearnley by a sixth-tenths of a second, repeating their photo finish at last month's Chicago marathon. Defending champion Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa came in fourth.

With files from CBC Sports

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