Peter Kamais of Kenya unexpectedly won the 2010 NYC Half-Marathon this morning on a day made for fast, competitive distance running.
Kamais, 33, ran 59:53 to score a surprise victory against a field that included multiple World record-holder and 2007 NYC Half champion Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who dropped out.
Gebrselassie, the heavy favorite, led the field through a 14:33 opening 5Km, accompanied by Kamais, Moses Kigen Kipkosgei of Kenya, Mohamed Trafeh of the United States, and Bekana Daba of Ethiopia.
Gebrselassie and Kamais gradually pulled away and ran together over the undulating park terrain.
But the legendary Gebrselassie, who set the event record of 59:24 here in 2007, didn't look entirely comfortable, and after exiting the park in the eighth mile he stepped to the side of the road, holding his chest. Kamais surged into the lead.
"After 10K I knew that I'd win this race. I was feeling comfortable," said Kamais, who ran 27:09 to win the Brabants Dagblad 10K in Tilburg, The Netherlands, last year.
He continued unopposed through Times Square, west on 42nd Street to the flat West Side Highway, and south to the finish in Lower Manhattan.
Gebrselassie briefly rejoined the race before dropping out in the ninth mile; he had been suffering from a cold in the days leading up to the race.
The race for second place was a nail-biter, with Kigen prevailing over Trafeh by one second, 1:00:38 to 1:00:39, in a sprint finish.
This was the fifth edition of the NYC Half-Marathon and the first springtime running; the race took place in the summer from 2006 through 2009. A record 11,494 people finished the race.
Courtesy: New York Road Runners