The 2022 world champion left no doubt that the win was his as he built a nearly two minute lead by the 40-kilometre mark. Kenyan Albert Korir finished second in 2:06:57, while Ethiopian Shura Kitata was third in 2:07:11.
Competing in perfect conditions, Tola exorcised the disappointment of two prior fourth-place finishes in New York, relying on the boisterous Big Apple crowd for motivation as he ran on his own for several kilometres.
“The people of New York (are) amazing,” said Tola, who hoisted his arms aloft as he claimed his first World Marathon Major title after taking third in London earlier this year.
“I work hard training so it is confidence for me.”
Obiri produced an extraordinary final kick in the women’s race to outlast Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey, who crossed the finish line about six seconds behind, as last year’s winner, Kenyan Sharon Lokedi, finished third in 2:27:33.
“My first debut here was terrible for me,” said Obiri, after finishing sixth last year. “Sometimes you learn from your mistake... Finally, I made it.”
The star-studded women’s field began at a surprisingly slow pace, as a crowded lead pack kept together through the 30-kilometre mark, before the tempo picked up considerably with less than eight kilometres to go.