The 2013 New York City Marathon was held on Sunday, Nov. 3. It was a compelling race that garnered mountains of attention after the 2012 event was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.
The Kenyan combination of Geoffrey Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo took home the gold in the men's and women's races, respectively. Unfortunately, that also means that the American drought at the New York City Marathon continued.
An American man has won the New York City Marathon just once since 1982. An American woman hasn't won the New York City Marathon since 1977.
Nevertheless, 2013 provided numerous Americans with the opportunity to rise up and break that 30-plus-year dry spell. Here are the top American finishers from this year's event and why their success could be sustainable.
The top American finisher of the day was Ryan Vail, who checked in with a time of two hours, 13 minutes and 23 seconds. Vail ranked No. 13 among all men in the marathon, coming through with a mark that was four minutes and 59 seconds off of the lead.
All in all, Vail offered hope for future races that an American man could potentially rise up and win it all.
The 27-year-old maintained a steady pace and was within a reasonable distance of Mutai, who is now the two-time defending champion. Vail may not have won, but for a runner with youth on his side, a top-15 finish is more than encouraging.
If there's anything you need to know about this young man from Oregon, it's that the sky is the limit.
Vail is one of many who was hoping to become the second American male since Alberto Salazar in 1982 to win the New York City Marathon. While he may have fallen short, Vail's result was very strong for a runner who is relatively inexperienced on professional stages.
The last American male to win the New York City Marathon was Meb Keflezighi in 2009, but the success rate has been astonishingly poor for U.S. runners. A major reason has been that lack of promising youth, but Vail seems to be the exception to the rule.
The past may be bleak, but the future is bright.
On the women's side, Adriana Nelson had the best time among Americans. The Colorado native finished with a time of two hours, 35 minutes and five seconds, which was good for No. 13 among all female competitors.
It was another strong showing from the 33-year-old, who always seems to bring consistent efforts to marathons and half-marathons. Once known for blowing the lead at the 2007 Chicago Marathon, Nelson is now carving out a legacy as one of the best American runners of her generation.
This result proved that.
The Romanian-American star has shined both at the NCAA and professional level, which makes this result far from surprising. Already in possession of a second-place finish at the Chicago Marathon, Nelson continues to string together quality results.
At the 2013 New York City Marathon, she made a compelling case for being the best active American.
The last American woman to win the New York City Marathon was Miki Gorman in 1977. Thirty-six years later, Nelson has the look of the contender who is in the best position to break that dry spell.
Until then, Nelson's success in 2013 is noteworthy in its own right.