For the first time in 40 years, an American woman crossed the finish line first at the New York City Marathon–as former UNC runner Shalane Flanagan beat defending champion Mary Keitany of Kenya by a minute and one second to take home the crown.
Flanagan’s unofficial final time on Sunday was 2 hours, 26 minutes and 53 seconds, which was 17 minutes faster than Miki Gorman’s time in 1977–the last time an American woman won the event.
With heightened security around the course after last week’s terrorist attack in Manhattan, Flanagan became noticeably emotional as she crossed the finish line.
In front of the large crowd, she held the American flag high in the air and then wrapped herself in it.
The 36-year-old Flanagan already had the U.S. records for the 3,000 and 5,000 meter indoor races, but this is no doubt her greatest accomplishment to date.
Before this year, she had not competed in the NYC Marathon since 2010.
The men’s race was won by Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya, with a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 53 seconds.
Photo via NYC Marathon (Twitter)