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Two Kenyans were crowned the winners of the 50th annual New York City Marathon on Sunday.

Peres Jepchirchir, 28, won the women’s race with a finish time of 2:22:39, while the men’s title went to Albert Korir, also of Kenya, in a time of 2:08:22.

Each will take home a $100,000 first-place prize.

Jepchirchir made history as the first Olympic Marathon champion to win the race, just three months after she took home gold at the Tokyo games.”After I [won] the Olympic medal, I was not expecting to win,” Jepchirchir said.

She finished just four seconds ahead of Viola Cheptoo, also of Kenya.

Korir was followed by Mohamed Reda El Aaraby, who was 44 seconds behind and the first Moroccan to take the podium in New York since 2009.

Around 30,000 athletes from across the globe gathered at the starting line at the Verrazzano Bridge in Staten Island for the return of the iconic, 26.2-mile race.

The Big Apple marathon — which is the world’s largest and typically draws about 50,000 runners — had been canceled last year over COVID-19 safety concerns.

The in-person New York City marathon was canceled in 2020 due to the widespread COVID-19 pandemic however a virtual "race" was held in its place.
The in-person New York City marathon was canceled in 2020 due to the widespread COVID-19 pandemic however a virtual “race” was held in its place.
KEVIN C DOWNS
Organizers required this year's athletes to be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Organizers also managed to modify the beginning of the race to allow for more social distancing.
Organizers required this year’s athletes to be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Organizers also managed to modify the beginning of the race to allow for more social distancing.
KEVIN C DOWNS
Albert Korir of the U.S. leads the men's elite race .
Albert Korir of the U.S. leads the men’s elite race.
REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

“It really feels like we’re coming back as a city when we have this New York City Marathon,” MTA acting president and race sponsor Craig Cipriano said at a press conference last week.

Organizers required this year’s athletes to be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the race.

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