NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — Shalane Flanagan dethroned Mary Keitany on Sunday and became the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon since 1977, potentially ending her decorated career with her first major marathon victory.
Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya won the men’s race, holding off countryman Wilson Kipsang by 3 seconds for his first major victory.
Keitany had won three straight New York marathons, but Flanagan pulled away from the Kenyan great with about three miles to go. Flanagan finished in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 53 second, about a minute faster than Keitany. The American cried and yelled as she approached the finish line all alone.
The last American woman to win New York was Miki Gorman, who won consecutive titles in 1976-77.
Flanagan finished second in New York for her first marathon in 2010 but hadn’t run this race since. After a fracture in her lower back kept her out of the Boston Marathon in the spring, Flanagan trained hard for New York with an eye on Keitany.
Kamworor ran the race in 2:10:53. He and Kipsang embraced just past the finish line to huge cheers.
American running great and 2009 New York winner Meb Keflezighi completed his 26th and final marathon, collapsing as he crossed the finish.
This may have been Flanagan’s final race, too, although the four-time Olympian wasn’t ready to commit. But she likes the idea of her and Keflezighi going out together.
“I was thinking of Meb, and I was thinking of how I wanted to make him proud,” Flanagan said.
Her win came five days after the bike path terror attack in lower Manhattan killed eight and raised questions about security for Sunday. That hit home for Flanagan, a Massachusetts native who completed the 2013 Boston Marathon shortly before a bomb went off at the finish line, killing three and wounding more than 260 others.
“It’s been a tough week for New Yorkers, and a tough week for our nation,” Flanagan said. “I thought of, ‘What a better gift than to make Americans smile today?'”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)