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McFadden takes third straight NYC title, Keflezighi sets American masters record


NEW YORK -- Tatyana McFadden captured her third straight TCS New York City Marathon victory and 12th World Marathon Major win with her record-breaking 1:43:04, while Meb Keflezighi crossed as the top American male and seventh overall in an American masters record of 2:13:32. Laura Thweatt was impressive in her marathon debut, finishing as the top American female and seventh overall in 2:28:23.

McFadden crushed Amanda McGrory’s previous course record of 1:50:24 to complete her third straight marathon grand slam. McFadden looked comfortable throughout the course, navigating the roads easily despite a tailwind through much of the five boroughs.

“I knew I’d have a tailwind for first 20 miles,” McFadden said. “I knew if I was the first one down that hill, everything would be okay. I kept hitting the turns really hard and hoped for the best.”

McFadden credited her ability to stay motivated, despite her overwhelming success, to her training partners at the University of Illinois, noting that “she likes to beat the men” she trains with every day.

For Keflezighi, his morning was spent fighting through a deep men’s field that stayed bunched through much of the course. Keflezighi traded the lead with Kamworor, Biwott and Desisa as they stayed to the front of a 24-man pack. Keflezighi was joined by fellow Americans Craig Leon and Nick Arciniaga in the lead pack until the leaders began to push the pace at 15 km.

The pack spread out at 20 km and Keflezighi stayed with the leaders while Leon and Arciniaga dropped back. Just before the 21-mile mark on the course, Kipsang, Kamworor, Biwott and Desisa dropped the hammer and Keflezighi couldn’t go with the quartet, a point he noted was the decisive moment in the race for him. Keflezighi bounced between sixth and seventh, trading places with Kawuchi before holding steady at seventh. Keflezighi came through the finish in 2:13:32 to set a new American masters record and TCS NYC Marathon masters course record. Keflezighi’s time bettered Mbarak Hussein’s previous American master record of 2:13:52 from 2006.

“It was great to be back here for a 10th time,” Keflezighi said. “It was a phenomenal day from the crowd to the weather. I was in the mix and I wanted to stay in the mix. In the back of my head was getting an American masters record. It gives me great pride.”

Thweatt had an impressive marathon debut, sticking with the lead pack and even leading at the 14 mile mark. Thweatt stayed with the leaders up until mile 20, when the pace started to quicken and Keitany, Mergia and Tufa separated themselves from the rest of the field. Thweatt noted that as the most challenging part of her race, saying from that point forward, the USATF Cross Country champion had to put her head down.

Thweatt maintained her pace and ran solo for the final 6.2 miles of the race, giving everything she had as she crossed in 2:28:23 for the seventh-fastest time ever by an American woman at the TCS NYC Marathon.

"It was my debut, so going into the race I wasn't quite sure what to expect,” Thweatt said. “It was such a huge victory to complete 26.2 miles...It's tough being out there by yourself. I had to give it everything I had those last couple miles. It was brutal."

Thweatt noted that despite such an incredible debut at the marathon distance, she would be focusing on making the team for Rio on the track and hold off on marathoning for down the road.

While Thweatt will be taking to the track in Eugene for the U.S. Olympic Trials - Track & Field, Keflezighi and the rest of the Rio marathon hopefuls will continue preparations for the U.S. Olympic Trials - Marathon on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles. The race marks 100 days out on Thursday, November 5.

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