Tamirat Tola Achieves New Record at NYC Marathon; Hellen Obiri Claims Women’s Victory

by Michael Nguyen
NYC Marathon 2023

Ethiopian runner Tamirat Tola established a new record at the New York City Marathon, clinching the men’s title, while Kenyan Hellen Obiri conquered the women’s race with a decisive surge in the last 400 meters.

On Sunday, Tola shattered the previous course record with a time of 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 58 seconds, surpassing Geoffrey Mutai’s 2011 record by eight seconds. Tola advanced ahead of fellow Ethiopian Jemal Yimer near the 20-mile mark as they approached the Bronx. When Tola re-entered Manhattan, he had already created a significant 19-second gap, his sights set on Mutai’s record.

Last year’s NYC Marathon victor, Kenya’s Albert Korir, trailed Tola by almost two minutes, securing the second place.

In contrast, the outcome of the women’s competition was uncertain until the concluding miles. Obiri, alongside Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey and reigning champion Sharon Lokedi, were neck and neck, constantly exchanging the lead. Obiri initiated a decisive move as the group neared the final stretch through Central Park, finishing with a time of 2:27.23. Gidey arrived second, only six seconds later.


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Lokedi concluded the race a mere 10 seconds after Obiri, who had previously triumphed at the Boston Marathon in April.

Expectations were high for an outstanding women’s field to challenge Margaret Okayo’s 2003 course record of 2:22:31. The weather conditions seemed ideal for record attempts, with a considerable drop from last year’s 70-degree temperatures to a more favorable 50s, and with 50,000 participants in the fray.

However, the race unfolded strategically with 11 contenders, including Americans Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle, leading the pack for the majority of the race before receding to eighth and ninth places.

Upon re-entering Manhattan for the final leg, Obiri, Gidey, and Lokedi increased their pace, leaving behind Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, who finished in fourth place.

The winners of the men’s and women’s races crossed the finish line within minutes of each other. Earlier, Marcel Hug claimed the men’s wheelchair race, narrowly missing his course record with a time of 1:25.29. This marked his sixth victory in New York, the most in the event’s history for the wheelchair division.

“It’s hard to put it into words,” Hug expressed, acknowledging the significance of his achievement.

Catherine Debrunner of Switzerland made a remarkable debut in New York by setting a new record in the women’s wheelchair race, completing it in 1:39.32, and outperforming the previous best by over three minutes.

Both Debrunner and Tola were awarded a $50,000 bonus for their record-breaking performances.


Daniel Romanchuk and Aaron Pike secured their spots for the 2024 Paris Olympics as the top American finishers in the men’s wheelchair division, with Susannah Scaroni and McFadden achieving the same on the women’s side.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about NYC Marathon 2023

Who set a new course record at the New York City Marathon men’s race?

Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia set a new course record with a time of 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 58 seconds, beating the previous record set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011.

Who won the New York City Marathon women’s race?

Hellen Obiri of Kenya won the women’s race, making a decisive move in the final 400 meters to finish with a time of 2:27.23.

Did the weather affect the New York City Marathon this year?

Yes, unlike the previous year’s warmer conditions, the race saw cooler temperatures in the 50s, which were more conducive to fast running times.

Who were the American contenders in the women’s lead pack?

Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle were among the American runners who led the women’s pack for the first 20 miles.

Which wheelchair athletes won at the New York City Marathon?

Marcel Hug won the men’s wheelchair race, while Catherine Debrunner set a new course record in the women’s wheelchair race.

Were any records broken in the wheelchair divisions of the NYC Marathon?

Yes, Catherine Debrunner shattered the women’s wheelchair race course record by over 3 minutes.

Who qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics from the NYC Marathon?

Daniel Romanchuk and Aaron Pike qualified for the men’s wheelchair race, with Susannah Scaroni and McFadden qualifying on the women’s side.

More about NYC Marathon 2023

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Sprint2Marathon November 5, 2023 - 7:49 pm

didn’t the weather play a huge role in these records, cooler temps def help with the speed

MarthaRuns November 6, 2023 - 1:54 am

Obiri’s win at the NYC marathon just shows how versatile she is, won in Boston and now here…

WheelieFast November 6, 2023 - 9:05 am

Hug and Debrunner are just on another level, the wheelchair races were so exciting to watch, hats off to them

Jake RunnerFan November 6, 2023 - 9:59 am

Wow Tola smashed that record! Ethiopians are just amazing at long-distance running

Olympics2024 November 6, 2023 - 12:01 pm

Romanchuk and Pike going to Paris, that’s huge Congrats to them and to the women qualifiers too!

MarathonMike November 6, 2023 - 3:45 pm

gotta say i was rooting for the Americans Taylor and Huddle, tough break for them but they held up for the first 20 miles thats impressive


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