Sahle Betona Warga of Ethiopia broke free from a small group of runners with about a kilometre left to go to capture the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Sunday morning.
The 28-year-old Warga found himself battling with countryman Botoru Tsegaye and Kenya's John Kiprotich heading into the final few minutes of a race that was run under wet and often windy conditions.
Warga to cross the Bay Street finish line near City Hall in the downtown core in a time of two hours, 10.35 seconds, holding on for victory in a world-class field.
Kiplimo Kimutai of Kenya came from off the pace to place second with a time of 2:11.20 with Kiprotich, who took himself out of contention after making a decision stop for water, right behind him in third in 2:11.29.
Tsegaye faded to fourth in 2:11.40.
The top male Canadian was Matt Loiselle of Toronto who finished seventh overall in a time of 2:16.23.
Mary Davies of New Zealand, who lives in Ottawa, was the top female competitor, finishing in 2:28.56, which was the 14th best overall time.
Agnes Kiprop of Kenya was second in 2:29.32 with Ethiopia's Radiya Adilo in third at 2:30.49.
The top Canadian female runner was Krista DuChene of Brantford, Ont., who finished four overall in a time of 2:32.15.
Chilean runner Francisco Mendez placed first in the half-marathon category with a time of 1:07:48.
Organizers says $3.7 million was raised for 167 charities.
With files from The Canadian Press