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Mary Keitany of Kenya defends title as women's NYC Marathon champ

Mary Keitany of Kenya crosses the finish line

Mary Keitany of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Pro Women's division during the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon in Central Park on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

Mary Keitany is a New York City Marathon title defender. And this year, it was a lot less stressful than last. Keitany, 33, of Kenya won her second consecutive New York City Marathon on Sunday, finishing in two hours, 24 minutes, 25 seconds. Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia was second in 2:25:32.  

Keitany is the eighth woman to win the New York City Marathon twice or more, race officials said.  

Keitany, who took a massive lead with a surge between the 21st and 22nd miles, won last year’s race by three seconds - so the sight of the 5-foot-3 runner striding down the Central Park straightaway by herself was certainly a change of pace on its own. She ran a 2:25:07 last year. 

Keitany ran the first 5k in 17:21, the first 10k in 34:29, the first 15k in 51:55 and the half-marathon in 1:12:56, and came through the 30k split in 1:43:32. 

Keitany holds the world record in the 25k, 1:19:53, which she ran at the 2010 Berlin BIG 25. She ran the 25k split yesterday in 1:26:41. 

Before last year’s victory, Keitany had two third-place finishes in the New York City Marathon. She ran a 2:29:01 and a 2:23:38 in 2011. 

Sunday was not Keitany’s first title defense. She won the London Marathon in 2011 and 2012. She posted a fast 2:18:37, the second-fastest time in history behind Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe.    

In her New York City Marathon victory last year, Keitany ran the first half of the course in 1:07:56, the fastest half-marathon ever run in New York City in the women’s division.   

New York Sports