American Shalane Flanagan wins New York City Marathon

Shalane Flanagan became the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon since 1977 on Sunday, November 5 2017.

Flanagan raced against reigning champion Mary Keitany from Kenya and pulled ahead of her with about three miles to go. Keitany won the past three New York Marathons, but couldn’t top Flanagan’s time of 2:26:53.

The American was full of emotions as she crossed the finish line; she yelled and cried while embracing her supporters.

Flanagan spoke with ESPN about her experience.

“It’s indescribable,” said Flanagan, 36. “It’s a moment I’m trying to soak up and savor.”

According to CBS, Miki Groman was the last American woman to win the New York Marathon with consecutive titles in 1976-77.

In Flanagan’s first marathon in 2010,  she started off strong by finishing second in New York; however, she hadn’t run this race since. The 2017 New York Marathon was Flanagan’s return to running after a fracture in her lower back derailed her running career. The injury kept her out of the Boston Marathon in the spring, but she worked hard for New York with a focus on defeating Keitany.

Before the race, Flanagan said she was prepared to “suffer dearly” while trying to keep up with  Keitany, who she called “the alpha racer.” However, the Kenyan’s efforts could not get in the way of the determined American.

Flanagan had said she may retire if she won New York, but she has not made an announcement regarding her future. For now, she will continue to celebrate her victory for herself and the United States.

Regarding the win, Flanagan said, “This is the moment I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl.”

After being away from competition since the 2016 Olympics, Flanagan’s emotions are high as she celebrates her return and victory for the United States. Flanagan shared this passionate post on Instagram with the caption, “A lifetime of work for this moment. It was worth it. Be relentless.” (Credit to Shalane Flanagan/Instagram)