Kenya's Mary Keitany wins her fourth New York Marathon women's title. Photo: @nycmarathon on twitter

NEW YORK – Kenya's Mary Keitany won her fourth women's title in five tries at Sunday's 48th New York City Marathon.

The 36-year-old endurance veteran, who finished second to American Shalane Flanagan in last year's Big Apple showdown, reclaimed the crown in an unofficial time of two hours, 22 minutes and 48 seconds.

Only Norway's Grete Waitz, a nine-time champion from 1978 to 1988, has won more New York women's titles than Keitany, who is also a three-time London Marathon winner.

Keitany stayed with the leaders from the start, taking on the challenging pace of Ethiopians Netsunet Gudeta and Rahma Tusa in a breakaway midway into the 26.2-mile race over the streets of New York.

World half-marathon champion Gudeta cracked in the 16th mile and Tusa faded in the 18th, leaving Keitany to run alone to the finish line over the closing miles.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)