NEW YORK (07-Jun) -- Rose Kosgei got arguably the biggest win of her career here today, winning the 38th NYRR New York Mini 10-K in Central Park. The 27 year-old mother broke the tape in 32:43, becoming the first Kenyan to win the Mini, the oldest all women's road race in the world, since Tegla Loroupe in 2000. Loroupe was on hand to see Kosgei finish and gave her a congratulatory hug.
Aggressive from the start Kosgei, and Ethiopian Ashu Kasim, broke away from the field just after the gun, striding up Central Park West in five minutes and four seconds for the first mile. The pair built up a 100 meter lead over the field by mile-2 (10:06/5:02), just before the start of the biggest climb on the course, Central Park's notorious North Hill. Kosgei attacked, quickly dropped Kasim, and crested the hill with a commanding lead.
About 30 seconds back, a chase group had formed to catch Kasim, led by American Serena Burla from Ellisville, Mo., and Ethiopian Hirut Mandefro. Two-time world marathon champion, Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, and 2008 Olympian, Rene Kalmer, were also in that group.
Kosgei had a 31 second lead through 5 km (15:52), but the Burla group could see she was slowing. In the tough uphill fourth mile on the park's east side, they sliced ten seconds off of Kosgei's lead, who looked behind her several times. Burla then broke from Mandefro and began to chase Kosgei. Burla, who has a five month-old son at home, got the gap down below 20 seconds, but Kosgei surged in the final (uphill) 400 meters to the line to lock in the victory. Burla finished second in 33:04, a personal best on the road, and Mandefro hung on for third (33:13). Ndereba and Kalmer finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in 33:21 and 33:29. It was Ndereba's fourth appearance at the Mini, one of the few races she has never won.
Kasim paid for her fast start, fading badly in the second half and finishing 18th in 35:22.
For Kosgei, she picked up the largest winner's check ever in her career: $10,000. Burla also won $10,000 for finishing second overall ($5,000) and for being the first American ($5000). In all, $35,000 in prize money was paid.
American marathon record holder and Olympic bronze medalist, Deena Kastor of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., also ran the race, but because of a toe injury chose to run at a slower pace, accompanying race director and New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. The pair finished in 43:46.
The Mini had nearly 6000 entrants this year, the largest field since 1999, and the runners enjoyed a beautiful sunny and warm (but not hot) day. The race was founded in 1972 with 78 entrants.
1. Rose Kosgei, 27, KEN, 32:43
2. Serena Burla, 26, Ellisville, MO, 33:04 PB
3. Hirut Mandefro, 23, ETH, 33:13
4. Catherine Ndereba, 36, KEN, 33:21
5. Rene Kalmer, 28, RSA, 33:29
6. Magdalena Lewy Boulet, 35, Oakland, CA, 33:32
7. Buzunesh Deba, 21, ETH, 33:32 PB
8. Kelly Jaske, 32, Portland, OR, 33:39 PB
9. Yuri Kano, 30, JPN, 33:43
10. Stephanie Rothstein, 25, Eugene, OR, 33:48
[19 women sub-36:00]