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American Man Wins NYC Marathon

Meb Keflezighi, 34, became the first American male Sunday to win the New York City Marathon since 1982.

The 2004 Olympic silver medalist set a new personal best, clocking in at 2 hours, 9 minutes, 15 seconds.

Meanwhile, Derartu Tulu, 37, of Ethiopia won the women's race, beating out two-time, defending champ, Paula Radcliffe.

"The USA gave me all the opportunities there is in education, sports and lifestyle," Keflezighi said. "To be able to represent the USA is a big thing for me."

Born in Eritrea, off the Red Sea coast of Africa, Keflezighi became a U.S. citizen in 1998. He took second place in the 2004 marathon, and third place in the 2005 race.

After Keflezighi's disappointing performance in the U.S. Olympic trials in New York two years ago, he learned he had a stress fracture of the hip. He endured a long and painful comeback to win his first major marathon.

Keflezighi pulled ahead of Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya at the 23rd-mile juncture to beat the four-time, Boston Marathon champ by 41 seconds.

On the women's side, Tulu pushed ahead in the final mile while Radcliffe fell back to fourth. Radcliffe grabbed her left leg in pain after finishing, later saying she had been suffering from tendinitis behind her knee. Tulu won Olympic gold medals on the track in the 10,000 meters in 1992 and 2000. She hadn't won a major marathon since 2001 in London.

Nearly 44,000 runners started the 40th edition of the race Sunday.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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