Just a day before, she stated that she believed this NYC Marathon would be her last.
For the first time since 1977, an American woman has won the New York City Marathon. Shalane Flanagan, a 36-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, ran the race in 2:26:53, ending the reign of Kenyan Mary Keitany, who had finished first in each of the previous three years.
With five miles left in the 26.2-mile course, Flanagan, Keitany, and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia separated from the pack, Flanagan finishing 1 minute and 1 second ahead of Keitany and 1 minute and 15 seconds ahead of Daska to take the title.
The path Flanagan took in 2017 to this point has been a remarkable one. She withdrew from April’s Boston Marathon amid high hopes following her American course record of 2:22:02 at the Boston Marathon in 2014. While training in Portland, Oregon, in a snowy January, Flanagan suffered a fractured back from running too frequently on slippery, unstable surfaces and treadmills during the winter months. Her decision to forego the legendary race to focus on future events allowed for a full recovery and improvement, leading to her historic win in New York.
Just a day before the race, Flanagan stated publicly that she was approaching this New York City Marathon as her last.
If you’re going to step away from an event, this is the fashion in which to do so. We’ll see if she can continue her success in Boston to make a run at runner-up Mary Keitany’s record of 2:13:01 at London earlier this year.