For the first time since Tegla Laroupe in 1994 and 1995, the New York City Marathon has a repeat winner. Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia repeated her victory last year with a time of 2:25:05. Prokopcuka was so far ahead of 2nd place women's finisher Tatiana Hladyr that she was blowing kisses to the throngs of spectators as she approached the finish line in Central Park. Prokopcuka finished a full minute ahead of Hladyr. Deena Kastor, who was trying to become the first American winner since 1977 and was one of the pre-race favorites, finished 6th.
The men's field saw the first South American winner of the NYC Marathon as Brazil's Marilson Gomes dos Santos finished in 2:09:58. Gomes dos Santos pulled ahead of the other men with seven miles to go and finished 8 seconds ahead of Kenya's Stephen Kiogora. Paul Tergat, who won last year's marathon finished 3rd. The top American finisher was Peter Gilmore who finished 10th. Last year's 3rd place finisher Meb Keflezighi finished a disappointing 21st.
Austria's Kurt Fearnley won the men's wheelchair division in 1:29:17 (a course record) and Amanda McGrory from Illinois won the women's wheelchair division in 1:54:17. Jillian Mastroianni of Manhattan won the five borough challenge and the NYPD defeated the FDNY for the Mayor's Cup.
Lance Armstrong - arguably the most famous runner in the field of 37,000 runners - finished under his goal of three hours. Armstrong, who was led by a camera crew for the whole course finished with a final time of 2:59:36. After finishing, Armsrtrong was greeted by marathon director Mary Wittenberg and was given his finishing medal by Mayor Bloomberg.
Gothamist would like to congratulate all the marathon entrants and finishers today. A special congratulations to Gothamist's own Christina Piluso who finished the marathon in 4:33:13.
Photo of Jelena Prokopcuka finishing the 2006 NYC Marathon by AP/Kathy Willens, Photo of Marilson Gomes dos Santos at mile 22 by Joe Schumacher on flickr