Tola and Debrunner break course records in men’s open and women’s wheelchair divisions, respectively
Top two Americans in men’s and women’s wheelchair division secure spots on Team USA for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games
New York, November 5, 2023 — Two course records fell today at the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon – in the men’s open division, by Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola, and in the women’s wheelchair division, by Switzerland’s Catherine Debrunner. Kenya’s Hellen Obiri won the women’s open title in her second event appearance, while Switzerland’s Marcel Hug completed a Swiss wheelchair division sweep and made history with his sixth victory.
After pulling away from the field in the final six miles, Tola clocked a 2:04:58 to break a 12-year-old course record and win his first TCS New York City Marathon title. It marked his first victory at an Abbott World Marathon Majors event and was one of the largest margins of victory in event history.
“The people of New York are amazing to give me moral support every kilometer. Thank you to all the people,” Tola said. “It was a few long kilometers to run alone, but I work hard in training, so I’m happy.”
Kenya’s Albert Korir, the 2021 champion, was the runner-up in 2:06:57 and Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata, who has placed in the top five in all four of his TCS New York City Marathon appearances, was third in 2:07:11. Futsum Zienasellassie was the top American, finishing in 10th in 2:12:09.
In her third attempt at the distance, Kenya’s Hellen Obiri unleashed a kick in the final 400 meters to win the women’s race in 2:27:23. In doing so, she became the first woman in 34 years to win both the Boston and New York City Marathons in the same calendar year.
“Sometimes when you come into a race, you say ‘anything can happen.’ But for me, I train so well, so when I came to this race, I said, ‘I’m strong, I believe in what I’ve done in my training.’ I think still I have something to do, like win the Olympics,” Obiri said.
Ethiopia’s Letsenbet Gidey – the 10,000-meter and half-marathon world-record holder – was second in 2:27:29, followed by Kenya’s Sharon Lokedi, the 2022 champion, in third in 2:27:33. Kellyn Taylor finished as the top American in eighth place in 2:29:48. It was her first marathon since giving birth last December.
In the professional wheelchair division, Hug won a record-setting sixth career TCS New York City Marathon, sweeping all six Abbott World Marathon Majors races in 2023, becoming the first man to ever do so. He won in 1:25:29, just three seconds off his own course record set in 2022.
“Honestly, I tried to not have this in my mind that it could be the sixth win here. But now slowly I am realizing what happened, and I’m so, so happy for this season and for this race today,” Hug said.
Daniel Romanchuk of the United States was second in 1:30:07, followed by Jetze Plat of the Netherlands in third in 1:34:22. The three men finished in the same podium spots last year.
In the women’s wheelchair division, Switzerland’s Catherine Debrunner won her debut TCS New York City Marathon, setting a new course record in 1:39:32. Earlier this year she broke the course records at the Chicago and Berlin Marathons, where she also set the marathon world record.
“I must say it’s difficult at the moment to find good words for the race because it has been a fairytale year with all the records and marathon victories. It was just amazing. I really don’t have the words for it,” Debrunner said.
Swiss compatriot Manuela Schär finished second in 1:48:14 and last year’s champion, Susannah Scaroni, was third in 1:48:14.
For the first time, the professional men’s and women’s wheelchair races at the TCS New York City Marathon served as the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field Marathon Selection event. The top two American finishers in the wheelchair races – Daniel Romanchuk and Aaron Pike in the men’s division and Susannah Scaroni and Tatyana McFadden – earned spots on Team USA at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
The 2023 TCS New York City Marathon, the world’s biggest and boldest marathon, welcomed 50,000 runners from around 150 countries and all 50 U.S. states. As one of the city’s most anticipated and iconic annual sporting events, the TCS New York City Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series made up of the world’s six largest and most renowned road races – the Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago, Berlin, and TCS New York City Marathons. New York marked the last stop on the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XV.
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.