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Shalane Flanagan wins the New York Marathon

November 6, 2017

According to The New York Times review of the race and its female winner, Shalane Flangan said, “This is the moment I have dreamed of since childhood.” As she put it, as she crossed the finish line and broke the tape, “Oh, yeah!!” Admittedly, we cleaned up her exaltation a little, but after 26.2 miles of excruciating running, in a field of 50,000 other runners, it is well known that marathoners are deep in oxygen debt and exhaustion at the finish, right when every news outlet in the world wants to talk to them. But for Shalane, it was a moment to remember. She worked tirelessly over the seven years, since her first run in New York (she finished second in 2010) building to this race. When all of us are watching television, or relaxing at the breakfast table, she was out there running, weight training, maintaining dietary regimes that would defeat most of us, and mentally preparing for those last three miles when the winner always breaks away, or tries to. Those last three miles are the race, and a test of human strength, stamina, and determination. Winning an elite marathon, like New York, is a triumph, perhaps like no other in sports. That she did it wearing Marblehead’s colors of red and black, only made it sweeter to all of us here in Town. Watching her falter in other marathons, including Boston, was heart breaking, but all of that rose into a moment of joy and release, as, finally, she crossed the finish line (2:26:53), beating the Kenyan woman, Ketany, who had won the race for three years in a row, by sixty seconds.

The last American woman to win the New York Marathon was Miki Gorman, in 1977.

Shalane added, in an interview after the race. “This means a lot to me and my family. And, hopefully, inspires the next generation of American women runners to just be patient.”1

  1. The Daily Item, 11-6-17, pg. 1 []

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