Molly Huddle and Feyisa Lilesa won the NYC Half Marathon this morning with late kicks. Huddle won the event for the third straight year by outkicking her training partner Emily Sisson in the last half mile, while Lilesa edged out Great Britain's Callum Hawkins at a similar point in the race.
|9||Juan Luis Barrios||62:23||$350|
On a cold morning in New York--34 degrees at finish time--Huddle was not quite able to get the American record that she came within seven seconds of at this race a year ago. But it was a spectacular debut for the 25-year-old Sisson, whose 68:21 makes her the No. 4 American performer ever over 13.1 miles. Huddle, Deena Kastor, and Kara Goucher are the only Americans to have run faster. (Sisson's debut is the fastest on a record-legal course, though Goucher ran 66:57 at the Great North Run.)
Huddle and Sisson, who are training partners in Providence, Rhode Island, smoked the field by nearly a minute and will take home a combined $30,000. Diane Nukuri of Burundi was third.
American Olympic marathoners Amy Cragg (69:38) and Desi Linden (71:05) were fifth and seventh, respectively. Linden remains a pure marathoner: she's never broken 70 minutes in a half marathon.
The story of the men's race is that Olympic marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa has returned to his world-class form. Callum Hawkins had been hot in 2017, nearly beating Leonard Korir in a cross country race and setting the British half marathon record in 60:00. But once Lilesa made his final move on Hawkins, it was obviously over.
Lilesa is training and living in Flagstaff, Arizona out of concerns that the Ethiopian government will punish him for his protest at the Olympic finish line. This was his first win since the Tokyo Marathon in February 2016.
Chris Derrick ran 61:12 for sixth place, lowering his PR by two and a half minutes. But a more surprising PR came 36 seconds and one place later from Noah Droddy. Droddy will probably always be best known for running the Olympic Trials 10K with shoulder-length hair, a backwards hat, gas-station sunglasses, and a finishing time three minutes behind Galen Rupp. But he's doing his best not to be--after finishing second at the U.S. ten-mile champs last fall, Droddy cut a minute and a half from his half marathon PR that he set in just January. He was the second American finisher today.