Kenyans Stanley Biwott, Mary Keitany win NYC Marathon

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Mary Keitany once tried to win a New York City Marathon by surging to a huge lead from the start.

By staying patient Sunday, she ensured she'd be far ahead at the end.

The 33-year-old Kenyan became the first woman to repeat in New York since world-record holder Paula Radcliffe in 2008. Her margin of victory of 67 seconds was also the largest since Radcliffe that year.

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Kenyans Stanley Biwott, Mary Keitany win NYC Marathon
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Mary Keitany (R) of Kenya runs alongside third place Tigist Tufa (L) of Ethiopia after the Pro Women's division at TAG Heuer Official Timekeeper and Timepiece of 2015 TCS New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for TAG Heuer)
Residents watch from their apartments as runners pass by in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon November 1, 2015 in New York.Kenyan Stanley Biwott won the New York Marathon on Sunday, capturing his first major marathon victory in 2hr 10min 34sec. Biwott, 29, broke away from his rivals in a leading quartet in the final two miles in Central Park to finish ahead of fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, with Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa third. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Marathon fans cheer for the runners in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon November 1, 2015 in New York. Kenyan Stanley Biwott won the New York Marathon on Sunday, capturing his first major marathon victory in 2hr 10min 34sec. Biwott, 29, broke away from his rivals in a leading quartet in the final two miles in Central Park to finish ahead of fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, with Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa third. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Marathon fans cheer for the runners in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon November 1, 2015 in New York. Kenyan Stanley Biwott won the New York Marathon on Sunday, capturing his first major marathon victory in 2hr 10min 34sec. Biwott, 29, broke away from his rivals in a leading quartet in the final two miles in Central Park to finish ahead of fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, with Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa third. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton (L) and Filmmaker and Grand Marshal of the New York City Marathon Spike Lee hold up the finish ribbon for the Pro Men's division at TAG Heuer Official Timekeeper and Timepiece of 2015 TCS New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for TAG Heuer)
Men's elite runners run up First Aveue in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon November 1, 2015 in New York. Kenyan Stanley Biwott won the New York Marathon on Sunday, capturing his first major marathon victory in 2hr 10min 34sec. Biwott, 29, broke away from his rivals in a leading quartet in the final two miles in Central Park to finish ahead of fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, with Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa third. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Women's wheelchair division participants Tatyana McFadden United States (C) Manuela Schar Switzerland (L)Sandra Graf of Switzerland after finishing theTCS New York City Marathon in New York November 1, 2015. McFadden shattered the New York City Marathon women's wheelchair course record finishing in 1 hour, 43 minutes, 4 seconds. Schar finished second with Graf placing third. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NYPD Commisioner William J. Bratton and Director Spike Lee Men's look on as 1st place winner Stanley Biwott from Keyna crosses the finish line at the TCS New York City Marathon in New York November 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Sara Moreira of Portugal crosses the finish line in 4th place in the Pro Women's division at TAG Heuer Official Timekeeper and Timepiece of 2015 TCS New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for TAG Heuer)
Men's elite runners race in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon November 1, 2015 in New York. Kenyan Stanley Biwott won the New York Marathon on Sunday, capturing his first major marathon victory in 2hr 10min 34sec. Biwott, 29, broke away from his rivals in a leading quartet in the final two miles in Central Park to finish ahead of fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, with Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa third. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Yuki Kawauchi of Japan falls to the ground after he crossed the finish line during the TCS New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Women's winner Mary Keitany of Kenya and men's winner Stanley Biwott of Kenya pose with their medals after the TCS New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Geoffery Kamworor of Kenya runs around Clare Geraghty of Australia late in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon November 1, 2015 in New York. Kamworor, the world cross country champion and world silver medallist in the 10,000 meters, finished second with a time of 2:10:48 AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Men's elite runners race in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon November 1, 2015 in New York. Kenyan Stanley Biwott won the New York Marathon on Sunday, capturing his first major marathon victory in 2hr 10min 34sec. Biwott, 29, broke away from his rivals in a leading quartet in the final two miles in Central Park to finish ahead of fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, with Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa third. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor of Kenya crosses the finish line in 2nd place in the Pro Men's division during the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon in Central Park on November 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Christelle Daunay from France and Sara Moreira from Portugal after finishing the TCS New York City Marathon in New York November 1, 2015. Moreira placed fourth and Daunay fifth. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Stanley Biwott won his first major marathon title to complete the Kenyan sweep. He finished second in London last year and had been upping his mileage in training to ensure he didn't fade over the final stages of races as he had in the past.

"Today it helped me a lot, and I believe in the program," Biwott said.

He certainly needed that late speed against countryman Geoffrey Kamworor, who's more a track star than a marathoner. Kamworor won the silver medal in the 10,000 meters at the world championships in August.

In 2011, Keitany led by nearly 2 1/2 minutes at the 15-mile mark but faded to her second straight third-place showing. A two-time London Marathon champ, she finally won in New York last year by just 3 seconds, matching the closest finish in the history of the women's race.

Confidence was high coming into Sunday's race, but no matter how good she felt, Keitany knew to bide her time.

"At the beginning, I did not go because I know the course in New York," she said. "Many times I had run it. So I said, 'Let me just wait.'"

She waited until about 21 miles to make her move.

"I say, 'OK, let me just go, and if somebody is more strong, she can come, and we can go,'" Keitany recalled. "I was ready to go with her, but fortunately they never got me. So I just crossed the line alone."

Keitany finished in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 25 seconds, beating Ethiopia's Aselefech Mergia by more than a minute. Another Ethiopian, reigning London Marathon champ Tigist Tufa, took third, bothered by pain from her shoes.

Biwott won in 2:10:34, beating Kamworor by 14 seconds.

"I race to win, but I'm happy about the second position," Kamworor said. "I'm looking forward in the future, maybe next year, I'll come back again and work hard to win a New York Marathon."

Reigning Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa was third and defending champion was Wilson Kipsang fourth.

Desisa and Kipsang both ran the marathon at the world championships 10 weeks ago, though Kipsang didn't finish because of the heat in Beijing.

An unofficial total of 50,229 entrants started the 45th running of NYC Marathon. Spike Lee served as just the third grand marshal in the race's history, riding along the 26.2-mile course through the five boroughs in a 1969 Chrysler 300 convertible.

American Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 champ, finished seventh at age 40 in his 10th NYC Marathon. His time of 2:13:32 was a national masters record. Keflezighi plans to run at the U.S. trials Feb. 13 to try to make his fourth Olympic team.

Fellow American Laura Thweatt was also seventh in her marathon debut. She will seek to qualify for next summer's Rio Games on the track.

Kenya doesn't hold trials, and with many more elite marathoners than the three slots allotted, there's no guarantee even an athlete as accomplished as Keitany will make the team.

Against a deep field Sunday, she made quite the case that she can contend for her first gold.

"I'm ready to go to try to get the medal in Rio next year," she said. "It would mean a lot to me and also to my life."

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