In two different styles that were run, but equally thrilling races, Kenya’s Hellen Obiri and Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola emerged victorious at the last World Marathon Majors of the season.

The last mile of the women’s race at the 2023 TCS New York City marathon was intense, captivating, and exciting to watch as the three main protagonists battled to get better places on the podium. Sharon Lokedi, the defending champion, and Hellen Obiri, the Boston Marathon champion, ran shoulder to shoulder as Letesenbet Gidey, the world record holder for the half marathon, sat behind them as though awaiting the opportune moment to strike.

Letensebet Gidey, Hellen Obiri, TCS New York Marathon
New York, New York, USA
November 5, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

Towards the last bend, Lokedi lost some ground on the other two and took a glance behind her to make sure that her third-place finish was secured. Ahead of her and Gidey, Obiri tackled the last hill towards the finish line as though she had been practicing on it ahead of the marathon. Gidey had to take a glance behind her as well to ensure her second place was secure. Obiri won the race in 2:27:23. Gidey was second in 2:27:29, while Lokedi was third in 2:27:33.

Kellyn Taylor, TCS New York Marathon
New York, New York, USA
November 5, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

USA’s Kellyn Taylor controlled much of the early stages of the race, taking an early lead soon after the start. Although, it was a relatively slow race as a pack of 11 would pass the 5K point in 17:23, then the 10K in 34:35.

It was still a relatively large pack for the elite women as eight of them crossed the 35K in 2:04:45. But, soon after that, Viola Cheptoo made a move and momentarily broke away with Obiri and Gidey before it slowed down a bit again. Lokedi and Brigid Kosgei, the former world marathon record holder, rejoined the leading pack.

Obiri finally made a long surge that would eventually reduce the leading pack to the three main protagonists.

The men’s race was a little fast from the beginning as they crossed the first 5K in 15:28. The fast pace saw the leading pack whittle down to just three runners by the 25K point. They were Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola and Jemal Yimer against Kenya’s Albert Korir.

Tamirat Tola, TCS New York Marathon
New York, New York, USA
November 5, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

The two Ethiopians suddenly dropped Korir as they approached the 30K point. Tola seemed determined to get a better result after having finished fourth in two past editions, the 2018 and 2019 editions. His fellow countryman would later struggle in the end as a result of hanging with him at such a fast pace and ended up finishing 9th.

The 2022 World Marathon Champion was running alone at the front with 10K to go, and he continued to open the gap as the race progressed. He won the race in a new course record time of 2:04:58. Korir came second in 2:06:57, while Shura Kitata finished third in 2:07:11.