Bronx resident Buzunesh Deba wasn’t even two seconds off the lead headed into the final mile in the women's race at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon. But the Ethiopian, and Kenyan Mary Keitany both fell victim to a late surge by Firehiwot Dado.
Deba, who lives on W. 195th St. and trains at Van Cortlandt Park, finished second in 2 hours, 23:19 seconds after looking poised to win when the leaders entered Central Park. Dado dropped them both, winning her first major marathon in 2:23:15. Keitany said fatigue simply took over her legs in the last five kilometers and she fell to third (2:23:39).
Deba said she felt cramps in her sides early, when Keitany had broken away, and again later in the park. Deba wasn’t sure how close the course passes where she lives, but if more of the race was in the Bronx, maybe it could have been a different story.
“I felt a lot more confident when I was running in the Bronx so if more of the race was in the Bronx, I would be very happy,” Deba said through an interpreter.