50,000 runners took to the streets of the five boroughs with a heightened security presence stationed along the 26.2 miles of the race –the traditional New York City Marathon; under overcast skies and an ideal, 57-degree temperature for the start of both the women’s and men’s races, the sport’s elite runners dashed from Staten Island through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and finally back into Manhattan finishing at Tavern on the Green.
Shalane Flanagan placed first on Sunday ahead of Kenyan Mary Keitany, whose winnings were unbeatable in the past three years, the New York Daily News reports.
Shalane’s unofficial time was 2:26:53. She and Keitany led the group most of the race, but around the 23rd mile, Flanagan was able to steal away the lead and maintain it until the end. Flanagan used a smart, conservative race strategy, conserving her energy until the end. When she crossed the finish line breaking into tears, she became the first U.S. woman to take the title since Miki Gorman won in 1977.
In 2016, the top two women’s spots belonged to Kenyan runners, with American Molly Huddle coming in third. And Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, a two-time half-marathon world champion, won the men’s race this year.
The Olympian Flanagan previously competed in the 2004, 2008, 2012, and in the 2016 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the 10,000-meter race in 2008 (later upgraded to silver after Turkish runner Elvan Abeylegesse’s medal was rescinded due to a doping violation). In 2016, Flanagan came in sixth in the marathon, a vast improvement from 2012 when she finished in 10th.
But this Sunday was the 36-year-old’s first big marathon victory.
She was born in Colorado and grew up in Massachusetts. Athletics runs in her family and this fact is supported by her mother, Cheryl Treworgy, who used to hold the American and world record in the marathon.
In 2012, Cheryl Treworgy told Runner’s World that her daughter’s drive and determination helped her shine as a long-distance runner. “I think running gives her, as it does a lot of girls, a sense of power about what they can achieve in a society that doesn’t always offer that,” Treworgy said. “She understands that in running she has a chance to attain her dreams.”
In the same interview, her mother added: “Shalane can do it all. She’s probably got the best range of any U.S. runner ever.”