Three-time Comrades Marathon champion Stephen Muzhingi faded in the second half to finish 33rd in his first attempt at a major city marathon in New York on Sunday.
The Zimbabwean, who has clinched the Comrades title every year since 2009, went through halfway in 1:10,19secs, on target for a personal best over the standard marathon distance.
He slowed gradually during the last 20km, however, and crossed the finish line in Central Park in 2:29,11secs.
Another multiple Comrades winner, Bruce Fordyce, ran an even-paced race to break three hours.
Fordyce (55), who dominated the KZN ultra in the 1980s, winning the race nine times, clocked 2:58,51 in New York, the last stop of the year in the World Marathon Majors Series.
Meanwhile, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya led the top three home in record-breaking time at the New York City Marathon on Sunday while Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia came from behind to claim the women’s title.
Mutai burst from the leading pack at the 20-mile (32-km) mark to win in two hours, five minutes, six seconds, more than two-and-a-half minutes faster than the previous course record of 2:07,43secs set in 2001 by Ethiopian Tesfaye Jifar.
Second behind the Boston Marathon winner was Emmanuel Mutai, no relation to his fellow Kenyan, who completed the race in 2:06,28secs.
Third place went to Olympic bronze medallist Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, who was also faster than the old record in 2:07,14secs.
The women’s race on a glorious autumn day was more dramatic, with Dado overtaking fading frontrunner Mary Keitany of Kenya in the final mile.
Dado, a three-times Rome Marathon winner, made up a deficit of more than two minutes to win, clocking 2:23,15secs.
Buzunesh Deba, an Ethiopian now living and training in New York, finished second four seconds behind Dado, with the fading Keitany third in 2:23,39secs.
Keitany, who won this year’s London Marathon in course-record time after finishing third last year in her marathon debut in New York, seized the lead from the start and built up a huge lead of two minutes 23 seconds by mile 15.
However, the 29-year-old Kenyan began to slow and Dado and Deba kept whittling down the margin, moving within one minute of Keitany as they entered Central Park for the final stage.
When Keitany noticed her pursuers closing in, she put on a desperate spurt and held them off until the trio moved to the southern tip of the park.
Dado surged by and then so did Deba, winner of the Los Angeles and San Diego marathons, on the last straight.