Waitz's husband, Jack, led the first group of men to run in the women's only race that honored his late wife, who died of cancer in April. She won a record nine New York City Marathons and was tied with Tegla Loroupe of Kenya for most Mini victories with five.
Jack Waitz finished in 46 minutes, 56 seconds while running with a group of men that included his wife's brother, Jan Andersen.
"I ran a little bit fast than I thought I would," Waitz said. "I was happy to be here. This race was really important to Grete. ..." Masai ran away from a field that featured 12 Olympians to win in 31:40, beating Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia by 29 seconds. Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia was another second behind in third.
"The pace was slow so I took off around two miles and saw the other leaders were dropping, that is when I knew I had the lead," Masai said.
The race also marked the return to competition of 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, who finished 25th in 35:00 just 3½ months after giving birth to her first child.