NEW YORK » Wilson Kipsang, a former world-record holder, needed to force himself to slow down.
The Kenyan star had entered his first New York City Marathon to challenge himself on a hilly course with no pacemaker. A windy morning made for quite the test Sunday, and Kipsang proved he can win a strategic race.
"I had to really exercise a lot of patience," he said.
Kipsang pulled away in the final mile for his third major marathon title in just over 13 months. Mary Keitany also took the lead late in the women’s race for a Kenyan sweep.
Kipsang’s record-setting victories in Berlin and London were on flat courses with the aid of a pacemaker, very different from Sunday, when winds were gusting at more than 30 mph at the start. The contenders adjusted by cautiously sticking to a slow pace.
"It was very tactical," Kipsang said. "So it was not easy."
He finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 59 seconds the slowest winning time in New York since 1995, and more than 7 1/2 minutes off the world record he set just over a year ago in Berlin.
Keitany tried a very different tactic in her last NYC Marathon, surging ahead to a huge early lead in 2011. She was caught that day and had to settle for her second straight third-place finish.
Kathleen O’Neil of Honolulu was Hawaii’s fastest finisher, running it in 2:58.17.
By Rachel Cohen, Associated Press