Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon on Sunday with a time of 2:08:24, becoming the first winner of the event in two years after Hurricane Sandy caused a cancellation of the race in 2012.
Priscah Jeptoo, also from Kenya, was the first woman to finish the race. Jeptoo had a time of 2:25:07, and the win earned her a World Marathon Majors title – which is given to the man and woman with the most points in majors over the last two years. The majors races are in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.
This was the third time that two runners from Kenya swept the New York Marathon. But Sunday’s race had another distinction as well. The heavily monitored event was arguably the safest race for both runners and spectators.
Following the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April that killed three people and wounded 260 others, the NYPD pulled no punches when beefing up security for the event. The NYPD has been planning for the race since April 16, the day after the Tsarnaev brothers planted bombs at the finish line in Boston.
An estimated 45,000 runners took part in the 26-mile marathon that goes through all five boroughs of New York City, and the city’s police commissioner Raymond Kelly had no intention of allowing any harm to come to them or the spectators.
“I think this will be the best protected race that they can enter, there's no guarantees in our post 911 world, but we're doing everything we reasonably can to protect the runners, protect the spectators and to have this be a safe and enjoyable event,” Kelly said, according to NBC.
Some of the measures that the NYPD took to avoid an attack during the event included helicopters, police boats, K-9 bomb sniffing dogs, hundreds of cameras throughout the city, and even scuba divers. Kelly also said that he met with police from Boston to see what they learned after the attack earlier this year.
Althought there was no immediate threat of an attack, the NYPD continued to have a watchful eye on the race.