Shalane Flanagan became the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon in 40 years, upsetting three-peat champion Mary Keitany in the process.
Not since 1977 had an American won the women's event. But Flanagan beat Keitany, who is from Kenya, by roughly a minute, finishing with a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 53 seconds.
"It's indescribable," the 36-year-old Flanagan said. "It's a moment I'm trying to soak up and savor."
"This is the moment I've dreamed off since I was a little girl," she added.
This is the first major marathon that Flanagan has won.
Still, the long-winded runner maintained a humble demeanor; heaping praise upon the runner-up finisher, calling her the "the alpha racer."
The last American woman to win the NYC marathon was Miki Gorman, a back-to-back champion in 1976-77.
For Flanagan, NYC has weighed on her mind heavily. Many have speculated that this may be the runner's last race. But in a recent Sports Illustratedpiece, Flanagan told the press she had not yet made up her mind.
“New York and Boston are magical to me,” Flanagan says. “I’ve chased enough fast times on the track that I’m kind of at peace with my PRs and my times. I know I could run a faster marathon for sure but it’s not as important to me as doing well and putting together an inspired race in New York.
“I’m mentally acting like as if it’s my last. I don’t want to have these contingencies that if it doesn’t go well then at least I’ve got something else. I just want to act like this is it. I like to put that type of pressure on myself. To be honest, I just don’t know.”
One thing Flanagan definitely knew was that she was going to leave it all on the course today. Flanagan wasn't just showing up to run, she was showing up to win. In the same SI piece, Flanagan notes her desire to to give it her all.
“I’m not going to show up and save it for another day. I’m completely and 100% all-in for New York,” Flanagan says. “My goal is to try and run with the best in the world. It can be a tall order and risky but I’ve got nothing holding me back. I’m not saving anything for a later date. If Mary decides to run aggressive and wild, I’ll see how aggressive I can be and push my upper limit of what I’m capable of.”
Congratulations to Shalane. Thank you for making the country proud.