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Geoffrey Mutai, Firehiwot Dado win at NYC Marathon

Published: Sunday, Nov. 6 2011 12:24 p.m. MST

Geoffrey Mutai, of Kenya, runs along 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York on his way to winning with a course record in the men's division at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011.  (Craig Ruttle, Associated Press) Geoffrey Mutai, of Kenya, runs along 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York on his way to winning with a course record in the men's division at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. (Craig Ruttle, Associated Press)

NEW YORK — Geoffrey Mutai shattered the course record in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, no surprise after he ran the fastest marathon ever earlier this year.

Firehiwot Dado wasn't a favorite coming into the women's race and victory seemed impossible with even a few miles left. But the Ethiopian made a stunning comeback for her first major marathon title

Mutai finished in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 6 seconds, crushing the previous mark of 2:07:43 set by Tesfaye Jifar of Ethiopia a decade earlier.

The 30-year-old has established himself as the favorite at next summer's Olympics after two landmark performances this year — if he even earns a spot on the Kenyan team, the country so deep in the marathon.

In April, Mutai ran the fastest 26.2 miles in history: 2:03:02 in Boston. It didn't count as a world record because the course is considered too straight and too downhill.

Kenya's Emmanuel Mutai, left, congratulates Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai after he won the men's division of the New York City Marathon with a course record, with Emmanuel Mutai in second place, on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in New York. Geoffrey Mutai finished in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 6 seconds, crushing the previous mark of 2:07:43 set a decade earlier.  (Kathy Willens, Associated Press) Kenya's Emmanuel Mutai, left, congratulates Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai after he won the men's division of the New York City Marathon with a course record, with Emmanuel Mutai in second place, on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in New York. Geoffrey Mutai finished in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 6 seconds, crushing the previous mark of 2:07:43 set a decade earlier. (Kathy Willens, Associated Press)

"I'm happy to be at that level," he said.

With little wind on a cool, sunny Sunday, the conditions were perfect for fast times. The second- and third-place finishers also broke the old course record. Fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai (no relation), the London Marathon champ, ran a 2:06:28. Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia was third in 2:07:14.

Defending champ Gebre Gebremariam was fourth.

Dado trailed London Marathon champ Mary Keitany by nearly 2½ minutes at the 15-mile mark but passed her with about a mile left. The 27-year-old Dado won in 2:23:15 — almost a minute better than her previous personal best.

"She'd been running so fast from the beginning, I didn't imagine I would catch her," Dado said through a translator.

Fellow Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba, who lives in the Bronx, was second for her first podium finish at a major marathon, four seconds back. It was the second-closest women's finish in the race's history.

New York City Marathon women's division winner Firehiwot Dado, left, of Ethiopia, gives a kiss on the cheek to second-place winner Buzunesh Deba, of Ethiopia, after they finished the race on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in New York.  (Kathy Willens, Associated Press) New York City Marathon women's division winner Firehiwot Dado, left, of Ethiopia, gives a kiss on the cheek to second-place winner Buzunesh Deba, of Ethiopia, after they finished the race on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in New York. (Kathy Willens, Associated Press)

Keitany was third, 23 seconds back. The Kenyan was well under course-record pace for much of the race but faded badly over the final miles.

Emmanuel Mutai won a $500,000 bonus as the World Marathon Majors champ.

A record 47,107 runners started the race through the five boroughs.

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