KIMbia’s Nyariki Wins Inaugural NYC Half Marathon

By Jörg Wenig
Tom Nyariki wins the inaugural NYC Half Marathon. © Victah Sailer
Tom Nyariki wins the inaugural NYC Half Marathon. © Victah Sailer

KIMbia’s Tom Nyariki capped a stellar August by winning this morning’s NYC Half Marathon in Manhattan. In his first half marathon, Nyariki ran 1:01:22 hours to win by six seconds over Olympic marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi. Two-time American Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, who ran 27:22 minutes for 10,000 meters on the track earlier this summer, was third in 1:01:34. The three ran together until the final kilometer, when Nyariki surged decisively and permanently gapped first Abdirahman, and then Keflezighi.

The women’s race was even closer. Olympic marathon silver medalist Catherine Ndereba, who had as much as a 10-second lead after the 15-kilometer mark, barely held off fast-charging Benita Johnson. The Kenyan and the Australian were given the same time, 1:09:43; Ndereba’s margin of victory was a mere three-tenths of a second. Ndereba will return to New York in November for the ING New York City Marathon.

Romania’s Constantina Tomescu-Dita, the reigning world half marathon champion, led early, but faded to third, in 1:10:11. Colleen De Reuck was fifth in 1:11:48 to break the American masters record by more than two minutes.

Nyariki’s win today followed a victory in August 5’s Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and a second-place finish (to KIMbia teammate Gilbert Okari) in August 13’s Falmouth Road Race (a 7.1-miler). Nyariki will now return to the KIMbia camp in Boulder, Colorado and join his teammates as they prepare for the fall marathon season. Nyariki will make his marathon debut in New York on November 5.

Today’s half marathon was the inaugural running of the event, but still had more than 10,000 finishers. The field included runners from 46 states and 36 countries. The race started in Central Park, and left the park in the eighth mile to head toward Times Square, the Hudson River waterside and the finish in lower Manhattan near Battery Park.

For complete results of today’s half marathon, visit the New York Road Runners’ Web site.