Kenya's Hellen Obiri wins New York Marathon

Hellen Obiri

Kenya's Hellen Obiri poses on the podium after winning the 52nd Edition of the New York City Marathon on November 5, 2023.

Photo credit: Timothy A. Clary | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Reigning Boston Marathon champion Obiri claimed her second major win of the year to finish in 2hr 27min 23sec, pipping 10,000m world record holder Gidey, who crossed in 2:27:29.
  • Defending champion Sharon Lokedi of Kenya finished third in 2:27:33.

In New York

Freshly-minted New York Marathon champion, Hellen Obiri, has attributed her success to her unyielding spirit, and a sprint finish she employed in the last part of the race on the streets of the American city.

On Sunday, Obiri, who finished sixth in the New York City Marathon last year when she made her marathon debut, upstaged a quality field to win this year’s race in two hours, 27 minutes and 23 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Letensebet Gidey (2:27:29), and defending champion Sharon Lokedi of Kenya who finished third in 2:27:33.

Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola won men’s race in 2:04:50, followed by Kenya’s Albert Korir (2:06:57), and Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (2:07:11).

Hellen Obiri

Kenya's Hellen Obiri (centre) poses on the podium with the gold medal after winning the women's elite race alongside silver medalist Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey (left) and bronze medalist Kenya's Sharon Lokedi (right) at the 52nd Edition of the New York City Marathon on November 5, 2023.

Photo credit: Timothy A. Clary | AFP

Speaking to Nation Sport after winning her second World Majors Marathon race, Obiri, who is also won the Boston Marathon title in April in a time of 2:21:38, said her tactical approach to the race, and a good knowledge of the field also worked in her favour.

“I am happy to have won here. The race was very tactical, but I am happy I won at the end of it all. I think it helped that I am a good sprinter,” the 33-year-old who is based in Colorado in USA, said.

“I knew the athletes I was competing against here, and I think that also worked in my favour,” Obiri said in reference to Valencia Marathon champion Gidey who finished third. Obiri and Gidey both ran track races before scaling up to the marathon.

Hellen Obiri

Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates winning the 52nd Edition of the New York City Marathon on November 5, 2023.

Photo credit: Timothy A. Clary | AFP

Gidey, who is also the 2022 World Athletics Championships gold medalist over 10,000m, is also a silver medalist over the distance from the 2023 World Athletics championships held in Budapest.

Obiri won silver medal over 5,000m at the delayed 2020 Olympics, and was crowned world champion over the distance in 2017 and 2019.

“When you are a marathoner, and you are from track, that works for you. It was exciting for me to see Gidey here. I said ‘this is like 2022 World Athletics Championships, Gidey is here again. I have to keep pace with her,” Obiri said.

She becomes the first woman to win the Boston and New York Marathon titles in the same year. Gidey paid glowing tribute to Obiri.

“Obiri is a strong athlete. I enjoy racing against her,” Gidey said afterwards.

Lokedi, who finished third, said she felt good to be back racing in America.

“We knew the race would get fast towards the end, so I knew we would have to keep pace. In the end, Obiri, who was the better runner on the day, won,” Lokedi said.

Former world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei finished fourth in 2:27:45, followed by her compatriots Mary Ngugi (2:27:53), Viola Cheptoo (2:28:11) and veteran runner Edna Kiplagat (2:29:40).



1. Hellen Obiri (KEN, 2:27:23)

2. Letesenbet Gidey (ETH, 2:27:29)

3. Sharon Lokedi (KEN, 2:27:33)

4. Brigid Kosgei (KEN, 2:27:45)

5. Mary Ngugi (KEN, 2:27:53)

6. Viola Cheptoo (KEN, 2:28:11)

7. Edna Kiplagat (KEN, 2:29:40)

8. Kellyn Taylor (USA, 2:29:48)

9. Molly Huddle (USA, 2:32:0)

10. Fantu Zewude Jifar (ETH, 2:34:10)


1. Tamirat Tola (ETH, 2:04:58 CR)

2. Albert Korir (KEN, 2:06:57)

3. Shura Kitata (ETH, 2:07:11)

4. Abdi Nageeye (NED, 2:10:21)

5. Koen Naert (BEL, 2:10:25)

6. Maru Teferi (ISR, 2:10:28)

7. Iliass Aouani (ITA, 2:10:54)

8. Edward Cheserek (KEN, 2:11:07)

9. Jemal Yimer (ETH, 2:11:31)

10. Futsum Zienasellassie (USA, 2:12:09)

11. Elkanah Kibet (USA, 2:12:23)