Proof that the New York City Marathon can go on without P Diddy came yesterday as more than 35,000 people participated in the 26.2 mile, five-borough race. Runners from around the world gathered at the start in Staten Island and finished in Central Park. For the women, Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain rebounded from her disastrous performance during the Olympics to win in 2:23:10. Her margin of victory over Kenya's Susan Chepkemei was only four seconds, making it the closest finish ever for the women. Radcliffe and Chepkemei were step for step until the last 200 yards. Lyubov Denisova from Russia came in third.
For the men, the victory went to Hendrik Ramaala from South Africa with a time of 2:09:28. An admitted "bad marathoner", Ramaala's previous best in the NYC Marathon was 5th in 2001. A moment of hilarity came when Ramaala crossed the finish line, but did not break the traditional tape at the line that was held up by Mayor Bloomberg and Allan Steinfeld, the race director. Despite his tape-preserving performance, he won $115,000. Meb Keflezighi from California finished 2nd, the best finish for an american since 1993. Keflezighi also finished 2nd during the Athens Olympics. Timothy Cherigat from Kenya finished in 3rd.
Congrats to Gothamist's own Kevin (4:14:16), Alaina (5:15:22), Corie (4:11:04), Meg (5:09:04), who attempted to moblog the race, and all the other people that ran in the 2004 marathon. The NY Post has an account from one of their reporters who proposed to his girlfriend after they ran the marathon. Aw.
Reader Amit has photos at his site. Did anyone else run or take pictures?