NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 07: Gebre Gebremariam #14 of Ethiopia crosses the finish line to win the men's division of the 41st ING New York City Marathon on November 7, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

2010 ING New York City Marathon: Gebre Gebremariam Wins In First Ever Marathon; Edna Kiplagat Claims Women's Division

In his first ever marathon, Ethiopia's Gebre Gebremariam won the 2010 ING New York City Marathon, in 2:08:14. The women's division was won by Edna Kiplagat of Kenya. American Meb Keflezighi, the defending champion, finished sixth.

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Following DNF In NYC Marathon, Haile Gebrselassie, History's Greatest Distance Runner, Announces Retirement

Haile Gebrselassie tweeted Sunday morning that he was suffering from inflammation in his right knee "because of the long travel to NY city," saying that it wasn't a real issue, it was "just some fluids," adding "Hopefully the knee holds!"

Unfortunately, the knee did not hold, and Gebrselassie was forced to withdraw from the 2010 New York City Marathon at Mile 16, on the Queensboro Bridge. And then, the Ethiopian shocked everyone. In his post-race press conference, Gebrselassie, considered to be the greatest distance runner ever, announced his retirement. "I don't want to complain anymore after this ... which means it's better to stop here." 

It was such a subtle way to end his career that began in 1993 that those in attendance were not sure what had just happened at first

Someone said, "Are you saying that you are retiring?"

"Yes," Geb said simply.

Gebrselassie, visibly emotional as he wiped away tears, continued for only another minute or so, reiterating that is was simply "better to stop here." He added that it was best to "leave it to the youngsters," meaning the final time the world will see him run was on the Queensboro Bridge Sunday morning

Many of us who have had to lose our running know the moment when it happened. And only too often it ends with a whimper, not in the acclamation of the stadium or the finish line - in Haile's case a knee that finally became too painful to run on, on (of all places for an iconic African) the down slope of Queensboro Bridge - the one place on this course where there are no crowds.

Gebrselassie, 37, retires having won two Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000) and four World Championship titles (1993, '95, '97, '99) in the 10,000m. He won the Berlin Marathon four times in a row, and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon. 

In September of 2008,  Gebrselassie won Berlin with a world-record time of 2:03:59, breaking his own record from the year before by 27 seconds.

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Chilean Miner Edison Pena, 'The Runner,' Finishes New York City Marathon

Edison Peña, one of the 32 Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped underground, completed the 2010 New York City Marathon on Sunday, crossing the finish line with the Chilean flag draped over him as Elvis music played over the speakers. 

Peña earned the nickname "The Runner" for his twice-daily runs while stuck nearly a half mile underground. 

He walked for a majority of the second half, suffering from gimpy knees and aching feet, but jogged the final bit in Central Park to the finish line. His unofficial time Sunday was 5:40:51, but obviously for Peña, simply finishing is the real story

The remaining journalists in the media room aren't even working, just watching the TV as Edison Pena is rounding Columbus Circle.

The New York Road Runners originally invited Peña to be a guest of honor at Sunday's race, but he surprised them when he said that he'd rather run his first marathon.

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2010 New York City Marathon Won By Ethiopia's Gebre Gebremariam, American Meb Keflezighi Finishes Sixth

Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, in his first ever marathon, is the winner of the 2010 ING New York City Marathon in an unofficial time of 2:08:14. If you're wondering, that's an average pace of 4:53 per mile. For 26.2 miles.

It's the fastest time since Rodgers Rop turned in a 2:08:07 in 2002. Gebremariam becomes the first debutant to win the race since American Alberto Salazar accomplished the feat in 1980. 

Kenya's Emmanuel Mutai, the 2010 London Marathon runner-up, finished second, in 2:09:17. Mutai was the aggressor in the second half of the race, but when Gebremariam kicked in Central Park, Mutai just could not keep up. 

Kigen Kipkosgei of Kenya crossed the finish line in third place, with a time of 2:10:39.

American Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 NYC Marathon champion, the first American to win since 1982, was dropped around Mile 21 and finished sixth (2:11:30).

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2010 New York City Marathon Women's Division Won By Kenya's Edna Kiplagat, American Shalane Flanagan Finishes Second

Edna Kiplagat of Kenya won the women's side of the 2010 ING New York City Marathon, finishing in an unofficial time of 2:28:20. It's her second win of the year, after winning the Los Angeles Marathon in March. 

American Shalane Flanagan -- in her first ever marathon -- finished second, roughly 20 seconds behind Kiplagat. 

An American woman has not won the NYC Marathon since 1977. 

Kiplagat spend a majority of the second half of the race running with Flanagan and Kenya's Mary Keitany before she kicked and pulled away in the final few miles in Central Park. Keitany, also running her first ever marathon, ran the first 13.1 miles in 1:06:36, the second fastest time in the history of the ING NYC Marathon, and finished third. 

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