New York City, March 17: At the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway and Abel Kipchumba of Kenya triumphed on a chilly and difficult morning, finishing in impressive times of 1:09:09 and 1:00:25, respectively. Experienced European Athletics cross-country champion Grøvdal made history by becoming the first female winner from Europe since 2010. Meanwhile, Kenya’s dominance in the event was further enhanced by Kipchumba, who won the B.A.A. Half-Marathon last November, making history by becoming the ninth male champion in 17 years. Each athlete received a well-earned $20,000 award.

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Grøvdal’s Strategic Mastery

As the elite women set off from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, a cautious start marked the early kilometers. Great Britain’s Calli Thackery led the pack, trailed closely by a select group including Grøvdal and notable Kenyan contenders such as Gladys Chepkurui, Edna Kiplagat, and Cynthia Limo, alongside athletes from the Netherlands and Switzerland. Meanwhile, top American runners Des Linden and Jenny Simpson kept a vigilant eye on the leaders.

Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal wins the United Airlines NYC Half / Photo © New York Road Runners

The race’s turning point unfolded as the runners ascended the Manhattan Bridge, with Thackery faltering and relinquishing her lead. This paved the way for a fierce battle among Grøvdal and her Kenyan counterparts. Despite grappling with fatigue in the latter stages, Grøvdal displayed remarkable resilience, reclaiming ground as the race progressed through iconic landmarks like Times Square and Central Park. By the 20-K mark, Grøvdal had established a commanding lead, ultimately crossing the finish line in triumph.

Kipchumba’s Gritty Triumph

In stark contrast to the women’s race, the men’s competition commenced with fervor, as Kipchumba and Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi surged to the front early on. The lead pack, including Olympic steeplechasers Hillary Bor and Yemane Haileselassie, navigated the challenging course through cohesive teamwork.

Abel Kipchumba triumphs at the United Airlines NYC Half / Photo © New York Road Runners

As the race intensified, Kipchumba and Talbi engaged in a relentless battle, with surges and strategic maneuvers dictating the tempo. Despite Talbi’s formidable challenge, Kipchumba’s determination prevailed, as he surged ahead in the closing stages to secure victory with a decisive margin.

Acknowledging Talbi’s relentless pursuit, Kipchumba reflected on the arduous journey to his triumph, emphasizing the pivotal moment when he surged ahead with just three kilometers remaining.


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In a thrilling conclusion, Talbi secured second place, followed by Haileselassie, who surged past Bor in the final stretch. The American contingent, led by Bor and Reed Fischer, showcased commendable performances, rounding off the top positions in a fiercely contested race.

The United Airlines NYC Half Marathon showcased the epitome of athleticism, resilience, and strategic prowess, solidifying its status as a premier event on the global running calendar.