No Juggling While Running: This Year’s New York City Marathon

Two Kenyans clinched the top titles at the 45th annual race on Sunday.

Runners make their way across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the start of the New York City Marathon on Sunday. (USA Today Sports / Reuters)

Updated on November 1 at 4:30 p.m.

More than 50,000 runners from around the world participated in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, weaving through all five boroughs for 26.2 miles.

In the men’s group, Stanley Biwott of Kenya finished first in the 45th annual race, with an official time of two hours, 10 minutes, and 34 seconds, the Associated Press reported. Biwott beat Geoffrey Kamworor, also of Kenya, by 14 seconds. Biwott’s time tops that of the defending champion, Wilson Kipsang of Kenya, who finished last year’s race in two hours, 10 minutes, and 59 seconds. Kipsang finished Sunday’s race fourth.

In the women’s group, Mary Keitany of Kenya placed first for the second straight year with a time of two hours, 24 minutes, and 25 seconds. She beat Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia by 67 seconds—the largest margin of victory since Paula Radcliffe of Britain won in 2008.

Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa won the marathon’s wheelchair division, beating American Josh George by just a second, with a time of one hour, 30 minutes, and 54 seconds. Tatyana McFadden, a Russian-born American, won the wheelchair contest for the third consecutive year, finishing in one hour, 43 minutes, and four seconds, and setting a new record.

Thousands of runners are still on the course, which on average takes between four and five hours to complete. The oldest runner, Jonathan Mendes of New York, turns 95 in two days, and Sunday’s race is his 16th marathon. Some celebrities are also pounding the pavement, including actors Alicia Keys, Ethan Hawke, and Sean Astin, and former professional tennis player James Blake, whose mistaken arrest by New York police earlier this fall sparked public outrage. Blake finished the race in under four hours.

The marathon began at 8:30 a.m., with wheelchair athletes starting first, then the elite men and women, and then the rest of the runners. The race included a new rule this year: No running and juggling at the same time, which Canadian runner Michal Kapral had planned to do, according to The New York Times. Kapral holds the marathon record for joggling—juggling while running—at two hours, 50 minutes, and 12 seconds. Race organizers said they listed juggling props as “prohibited items” for security reasons and in response to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, which killed three people and injured hundreds.

The New York City marathon was first held in 1970 with 127 participants, who ran laps in Central Park, according to the event’s website. Only one woman participated, but she didn’t finish. Of the rest, just 55 runners completed the race.