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Gebremariam Wins New York City Marathon

Gebre Gebremariam won the New York City marathon today in a time of 2 hours 8 minutes 14 seconds.

Running effortlessly and alone in the final two miles, Gebremariam, 26, cruised to a victory in 2 hours 8 minutes 14 seconds. His only competition late in the race, Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya, had dropped back in the 25th mile in Central Park with pain in his leg. Gebremariam looked back several times, then stormed ahead to the tape.

"I can’t believe it," he said moments after winning. "I am so happy. It’s my first marathon, and I wasn’t sure I could win, but now I’m sure."

He became the first man to win in his marathon debut since Rod Dixon in 1983, and the first runner to win a debut in New York since Tegla Loroupe in 1994.

Meb Keflezighi lost his bid to become the first American man since Alberto Salazar to repeat as champion. But he refused to make this a victory lap from 2009, running with grit to finish sixth in 2:11:38. Dathan Ritzenhein was the other top 10 finisher from the United States, coming in eighth in 2:12:33.

Edna Kiplagat won the women's division.

In the women's race, American Shalane Flanagan, the bronze medalist at the Beijing Olympics two years ago and the most heralded young distance runner in the country, had an impressive debut of her own, finishing just behind women's winner Edna Kiplagat of Kenya.

Kiplagat crossed in 2:28:20. Flanagan's time was 2:28.40.

-- Gebrselassie's retirement overshadows NYC Marathon