Kagwe laces up near-record win despite distraction of loose shoe Kenyan stops twice to tie it

Rochat-Moser also prevails

New York City Marathon

November 03, 1997|By NEWSDAY

NEW YORK -- Good luck convincing your kids to tie their shoelaces today.

In a steady rain and blowing wind, Kenyan John Kagwe, his right shoelace untied and flapping against the Central Park pavement with every stride, won the New York City Marathon yesterday, prevailing in a race notable as much by the late fade of the favorites as by the lousy weather.

If Kagwe, 28, who ran 2 hours, 8 minutes and 12 seconds for the second-fastest finish in the race's 28-year history, was a surprise even among the dominant Kenyans, then the women's winner -- Franziska Rochat-Moser, a Swiss restaurateur and lawyer -- was a shock. Rochat-Moser, 31, in her first appearance in New York, took the lead from favorite and two-time winner Tegla Loroupe of Kenya at the 22nd mile and ran through the park fighting leg cramps to finish in 2: 28: 43.

"I told my husband that if I won New York, I'd give up my career," Rochat-Moser said. "Now I do not know what I will do."

Kagwe is one of a group of Kenyans who have catapulted to the top of distance running this year. He lives part of the year in Philadelphia and trains in Valley Forge Park, a hilly course much like Central Park. In 1995, he was fifth here and last year he was fourth. In May, he won the Prague Marathon in 2: 09: 07.

But his breakthrough came as his shoe became undone. He surely would have broken the course record -- he missed by just 11 seconds -- had he not had to stop twice in the first 10 miles to re-tie his right shoe. Kagwe, who had to sprint to catch up after each lace fix-up, was not even consistently among the lead pack until the 17th mile.

After that, it was largely a three-way race with Kagwe, Kenyan Joseph Chebet and Mexico's German Silva, who has won here twice. Silva, a crowd favorite since taking a wrong turn en route to his first win in 1994, made his move at the 18th mile, running it in a staggering 4: 39 and led briefly again at mile 20. But by then, he was spent and began to fall back.

In the last four miles, Kagwe let the laces go unfettered, and he took the lead in the 23rd mile.

"I said forget it, if my shoe falls off, I keep running," Kagwe said. "I trained so hard for this event. That is why I was so patient. I wanted to last until the last four miles. Then I decided to just break."

Chebet was second in 2: 09: 27. Silva faded fast once in Central Park and was overtaken by Italian Stefano Baldini and Moroccan Abdelkhader Mouaziz.

Jerod Neas of Princeton, N.J., was the top American, placing 15th in 2: 19: 07. Olympian Mark Coogan (Maryland) of Boulder, Colo., was 19th in 2: 20: 41.

On the women's side, though, an American, Kim Jones, remained in the hunt much longer, taking the lead in the 17th mile. But by the race's end, Jones was in the center of the only controversy of the day, accusing Rochat-Moser and third-place finisher Franca Fiacconi of getting help in receiving their water bottles from other runners.

"I didn't get help and I didn't see anyone else getting help," Rochat-Moser said.

The winners each received $50,000 from a purse of $249,500, along with a new car and a watch. Kagwe also earned a $40,000 bonus for breaking 2: 08: 30 and Rochat-Moser got an $8,000 bonus for going under 2: 29: 00.

Results

Top 25 men

1. John Kagwe, Kenya, 2 hrs, 8 min., 12 sec.

2. Joseph Chebet, Kenya, 2: 09: 27.

3. Stefano Baldini, Italy, 2: 09: 31.

4. Abdelkhader Mouaziz, Morocco, 2: 10: 04.

5. German Silva, Mexico, 2: 10: 19.

6. Domingos Castro, Portugal, 2: 10: 23.

7. Robert Stefko, Slovakia, 2: 11: 11.

8. Dionicio Ceron, Mexico, 2: 13: 01.

9. Simon Lopuyet, Kenya, 2: 13: 41.

10. Saya Belaout, Algeria, 2: 14: 22.

11. Kenjiro Jitsui, Japan, 2: 14: 32.

12. Chungfu Wang, Norway, Taiwan, 2: 16: 55.

13. Spyros Andriopoulos, Greece, 2: 17: 59.

14. Carlos Grisales, Colombia, 2: 18: 38.

15. Jerod Neas, Princeton, N.J., 2: 19: 07.

16. David Milesi, Italy, 2: 19: 25.

17. Hamed Oscar, France, 2: 19: 55.

18. Mohamed Ouaadi, France, 2: 19: 57.

19. Mark Coogan, Boulder, Colo., 2: 20: 41.

20. Diamantino Dos Santos, Brazil, 2: 21: 16.

21. Edmund Kramarz, Poland, 2: 21: 18.

22. Luis Soares, France, 2: 21: 30.

23. Antoni Niemczak, New York, 2: 21: 44.

24. Heiko Schinkitz, Germany, 2: 22: 04.

25. Kent Marcroft, New Zealand, 2: 23: 34 5: 28

Top 25 women

(Overall placing in parentheses)

1 (44). Franziska Rochat-Moser, Switz., 2: 28: 43.

2 (45). Colleen de Reuck, South Africa, 2: 29: 11.

3 (50). Franca Fiacconi, Italy, 2: 30: 15.

4 (55). Anuta Catuna, Romania, 2: 31: 24.

5 (56). Ornella Ferrara, Italy, 2: 31: 44.

6 (58). Kim Jones, Spokane, Wash., 2: 32: 00.

7 (60). Tegla Loroupe, Kenya, 2: 32: 07.

8 (68). Serap Aktas, Turkey, 2: 33: 31.

9 (89). Monica Pont, Spain, 2: 36: 04.

10 (93). Sonja Krolik-Oberem, Germany, 2: 36: 22.

11 (99). Helena Razdrouguina, Russia, 2: 36: 54.

12 (105). Micky Reger, Boca Raton, Fla., 2: 37: 35.

13 (149). Zofia Wierciorkowska, Conn., 2: 41: 22.

14 (178). Gillian Horovitz, New York, 2: 43: 20.

15 (205). Hilde Houdenak, Norway, 2: 44: 47.

16 (217). Eriko Asai, Japan, 2: 45: 39.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.