NEW YORK – A Brazilian runner collapsed and died after finishing the New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Police say 58-year-old Sao Paulo resident Carlos Jose Gomes had just passed the finish line around 4:30 p.m. when he complained about feeling ill. They say he was taken by ambulance to a Manhattan hospital, where he died shortly after.
At least two other runners fell ill during the race and had to be hospitalized.
Meanwhile, Paula Radcliffe defended her title at the marathon to become the second woman to win the race three times.
Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil won the men's race for the second time in three years, passing Abderrahim Goumri of Morocco with about a mile to go.
On a cool, windy day, 38,377 runners started the race.
Unlike Radcliffe's tight victories in 2004 and '07, the world record holder from Great Britain pulled away from Ludmila Petrova in the 22nd mile to win comfortably in two hours, 23 minutes, 56 seconds.
"I was thinking about two miles to go, at least it's a bit calmer for (husband) Gary this year than it was the last two times," Radcliffe said.
Finishing behind Radcliffe were a veteran proving she can still keep up with younger runners and a marathon rookie showing she can race with the best in the world.
The 40-year-old Petrova was second in 2:25:43, the oldest woman to finish in the top two since Priscilla Welch of Great Britain won in 1987 at the age of 42.
Kara Goucher took third in 2:25:53, becoming the first American to make the podium since Anne Marie Letko was third in 1994. She posted the fastest time in a marathon debut by an American woman, breaking Deena Kastor's mark set in this race in 2001.
Gomes won in 2:08:43. Goumri settled for the runner-up spot for the second straight year in 2:09:07, and Daniel Rono of Kenya was third in 2:11:22.
Grete Waitz won the race a record nine times, the last in 1988.
The NYC Marathon was again the site of a stirring comeback for Radcliffe. As in 2004, she rebounded from a disappointing Olympic performance with a victory. Last year, she won her first marathon since the birth of her daughter less than 10 months earlier.
Radcliffe has won eight of the 10 marathons she has started — all but her two Olympics, when she was thwarted by health problems both times.
"It does make it frustrating because you think, 'Why can I get it right all the time in New York and I can't get it right there?"' Radcliffe said. "But sometimes you have to take what life gives you."
Radcliffe led nearly the entire race, taking the initiative to set the pace as her competitors tried to use her as a shield to protect them from the wind.
"I looked back, and it was just like everybody was in single file behind me," she said with a laugh. "It was like, 'Come on, we've got the whole road."'
Russia's Petrova, the 2000 NYC Marathon champ, set a Masters world record for runners 40 and over, breaking Welch's mark set in London in 1987. Petrova was fifth at the London Marathon this year.
Goucher's coach has long believed that she's a natural for the marathon. He should know — Alberto Salazar won three straight NYC Marathons from 1980-82.
It was an emotional day for Goucher, running in the city where she was born and where her father was killed by a drunk driver just before she turned 4.
"I was so excited to run here and sad that it's over," she said. "It was awesome."
Gomes keeps finding magic in New York, where he's captured his only two major marathon titles. He was a surprise winner in 2006 before finishing eighth last year.
Goumri pulled away from Gomes in the 22nd mile and appeared headed to his elusive first major marathon title. Instead, he finished in the top three for the fourth time in 19 months.
Gomes fell behind by about 10 seconds, but when he made his move, he blew right by Goumri.
"You never lose hope," Gomes said.
Irina Mikitenko of Germany won the $500,000 World Marathon Majors title after Gete Wami and Catherine Ndereba failed to clinch the prize Sunday. Wami, the 2007 NYC Marathon runner-up, would have won for the second straight year if she finished in the top two, but she was sixth.
Ndereba needed to place first to have a chance, but she was fifth.
A vote by World Marathon Majors race directors broke a tie between Mikitenko and Wami. Martin Lel of Kenya had already clinched the men's title. Lel was unable to defend his NYC Marathon championship because of a foot injury.