For the first time in 40 years an American woman came in first place in the New York City Marathon. Shalane Flanagan called her victory to a “pinch me” moment. The 36 year old, is a four-time Olympian and spoke about Sunday’s race on Good Morning America saying, “I’ve been dreaming of a moment like this since I was a little girl.” She also talked about how “All athletes have these dreams and these visions and it’s what motivates us to get out the door to train hard. I visualized a moment like this and so I was trying to soak it up, but I was also running a little terrified that I was going to get caught.
Marathon runner Mary Keitany has won the three previous New York marathons, but with about three miles remaining, Flanagan broke away from Keitany to win the race with a time of 2 hours 26 minutes and 53 seconds finishing about a minute faster than Keitany. Her first marathon was the New York marathon in 2010, where she finished second. Flanagan hasn’t run this race since. A fracture in her lower back prevented her from participating in the Boston Marathon, but she trained hard for this marathon focusing on her biggest competitor, Keitany. Before the race, Flanagan described Keitany as “the alpha racer,” saying she was prepared to “suffer dearly” in order to keep up with the runner.
The terrorist attacks that happened in the city only a week before the race didn’t stop people from running, especially Flanagan. With the enhanced security, the runners were able to focus and enjoy the race.