ING New York City Marathon 2005 - Women's Race
Featuring the most handsome award for a win in marathoning history: $130,000 ($30,000 more than for the male winner!), plus potential time bonuses, the 2005 ING New York City Marathon was able to attract a strong women's field, although nowhere as deep as the men's field. In the field were perhaps four or five women who could hold a legitimate shot at the win and another two or three who would complete the prospects to make up the top five. Among the favorites would be the 2004 runner-up, Susan Chepkemei; Jelena Prokopcuka who ran a 2:22:56 in Osaka at the beginning of the year and thus holds the fastest recent time in the field, despite finishing only fifth in New York in 2004; Lornah Kiplagat - always a strong competitor and perhaps hungry for a marathon win. We predicted Kiplagat to be the winner - we would see if we were going to be correct.
The women's race began as scheduled at 9:35AM ET, thirty-five minutes before the men's and open race. Immediately 12 women broke away to create a lead pack and by the 5K that pack had whittled itself down to nine runners, including two pacemakers - seven women might vy for the title to this race. In the pack are Jelena Prokopcuka, Derartu Tulu, Gete Wami, Salina Kosgei, Lornah Kiplagat, Bruna Genovese and Susan Chepkemei... Two Ethipiopians, Four Kenyans (including Hilda Kibet, a pacemaker), one Italian and one pacemaker from Great Britain (Liz Yelling). All look strong and are letting the pacemakers do the work.
The pace was set at a very conservative mark - and by 20KM, the group was two minutes slower than at the same point in the 2004 race. Unprecedented for a major marathon, the lead pack is not shrinking - it is growing! At 20KM in 2004, there were four women in contention (including Chepkemei and Kiplagat). At 20KM in 2005, the pack has grown to eleven women with the addition of Ludmila Petrova and Lidiya Grigoryeva who have moved forward.
Over the 59th street bridge - a hill on this course - and through mile 21 a variety of women have moved to the front, surging either trying to tire the other women or at least to demonstrate that they are feeling strong - in a psychological, if not physical, game. Lornah Kiplagat began the procession of surges and Ludmila Petrova has taken her turns. By this point the pacesetters are long gone and the pack still holds Susan Chepkemei, who has been second twice in New York (2001, 2004); Ludmila Petrova who won this race in 2000); Jelena Prokupcuka who was fourth in 2004 and as previously mentioned ran a 2:22:56 to win Osaka in January. Also in the pack are 5 strong runners in their first attempt at New York: Bruna Genovese, Derartu Tulu, Gete Wami, Salina Kosgei and Lidiya Gigorveva.
After mile 21, the race gets exciting as Susan Chepkemei decides it's time to go. At first Derartu Tulu and Salina Kosgei manage to hang with the leader, but Chepkemei continues to put in surges so that by mile 23 she has put some serious distance between herself and the other women. Tulu is perhaps five seconds behind followed by Propkopcuka who has made up some distance and is nearly twenty seconds back - these are big deficits to correct.
Susan Chepkemei chasing
up Central Park South
Just past 23 miles, Chepkemei chooses not to stop at the water table and continues to put additional distance on her competitors. But just minutes later, she is throwing up and slowing... Later, whe we asked Chepkemei if she passed the water table to build her lead or because she was feeling ill, she admitted that she knew she was in trouble and did not want to add liquid that she might regurgitate later. From behind, Prokopcuka gains and moves into second place and eventually catches Chepkemei.
Over the last two miles, Chepkemei - who has recovered and Prokopcuka are running step for step through Central Park. Prokopcuka looks especially strong, but Chepkemei having lost this race to Paula Radcliffe by three seconds in 2004, knows that under no circumstances can she let Prokopcuka get away.
At 25-1/2 miles, Prokopcuka moves ahead and builds a lead that can not be rectified. For Chepkemei, this will be her third experience as runner-up. For Prokopcuka, this will be the fulfillment of a dream and her chance to represent - as she calls it - her small country.
Jelena Prokpopcuka of Latvia wins the 2005 ING NYC Marathon in 2:24:42. Susan Chepkemei finishes second in 2:24:55. Derartu Tulu takes third in 2:25:21 and Salina Kosgei finishes fourth in 2:25:30. First American is Jen Rhines in 2:37:08.
- first American Woman
The prize: In the largest prize award for women's marathoning: Prokpopcuka will take home $160,000. Chepkemei, thirteen seconds back will take home $95,000. Derartu Tulu earns $65,000 and Kosgei wins $50,000.
Blow by blow coverage of the ING NYC Marathon 2005 races:
NYC Marathon 2005: The Men's Race
NYC Marathon 2005: The Women's Race
As It Happened:
2005 ING NYC Marathon Live Race Coverage
Marathon Elite Lists and Overview
Pre-Race Interviews with top competitors
A special interview with Grete Waitz
Also, Complete Results of the 2005 ING NYC Marathon