Geoffrey Mutai defended his New York City Marathon title with the latest in a long line of dominant performances. Fellow Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo won the women's race to give the country a clean sweep of the main titles. No American finished in the top 10 of either race.
The United States fared better in the other divisions.
Tatyana McFadden continued her impressive streak of major titles in the wheelchair division, adding New York to her stable of 2013 wins that also includes Boston, Chicago and London.
Americans emerged victorious in both handcycle races, with Tom Davis winning on the men's side and Minda Dentler triumphing on the women's side.
Despite that success, the lack of a top-10 finisher in the overall category is a disappointment for USA running. Let's take a closer look at the top results among Americans. All times are courtesy of the marathon's official site.
USA Men: Ryan Vail (13th place—2:13:23)
Vail finished five minutes off Mutai's pace and wasn't a factor in the latter stages of the race. A total of six countries had runners finish inside the top 10, a coveted distinction the Oregon native missed out on by 80 seconds.
There are some positives, though. He was essentially the last finisher inside the top group. After him, there was more than a three-minute gap back to 14th place, which was fellow American Jeffrey Eggleston. The 16th-place finisher was more than nine minutes behind the top USA runner.
So although he wasn't able to make a larger overall impact, he can take pride in knowing he was in the upper echelon before the first big break.
Christian Thompson and Michael Cassidy were the third and fourth Americans to cross the finish line, ranking 20th and 22nd respectively.
Rounding out the top five for the United States was 2009 race winner Meb Keflezighi. His pace from four years ago would have been good enough for second place, but a leg injury limited his preparation and prevented him from making a serious bid.
Another American hopeful, Ryan Hall, missed the race due to a hip injury. If both Keflezighi and Hall were healthy, the USA men's results are likely much better.
USA Women: Adriana Nelson (13th place—2:35:05)
On the women's side, Nelson matched Vail's 13th-place finish, but was nearly 10 minutes off the pace. She was on the wrong side of that first major break in the times, which was almost three minutes and came after the No. 11 finisher, Risa Shigetomo of Japan.
The sizable gap shows the uphill battle women from the U.S. currently face as they look to end an extended drought in the New York race. The last American woman to capture the coveted title was Miki Gorman all the way back in 1977.
On a more encouraging note, nearly a third of the top 30 finishers were Americans. The country had nine runners break that mark, led by Nelson, Katie Dicamillo and Mattie Suver, but getting them to the next level so they can compete with champions like Jeptoo has proved difficult.
The good news is it only takes one runner to make the leap and end the drought. It didn't happen in 2013, but maybe some signs of progress will be on display next year.
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