Flanagan, Kamworor Win in New York Marathon

¬†American Shalane Flanagan and Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor won women’s and men’s titles apiece at the 2017 New York Marathon on Sunday.

¬†American Shalane Flanagan and Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor won women’s and men’s titles apiece at the 2017 New York Marathon on Sunday.

Flanagan became the first American woman in 40 years to win the title with a time of 2 hours 26 minutes and 53 seconds.

Kenya’s Mary Keitany, who was chasing her fourth consecutive New York victory, was second with 61 seconds back. Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska came third in 2:28:08.

“This is a moment I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl,” the 36-year-old Flanagan said.

“It’s indescribable. These are the moments we dream of to realize our potential and see how incredible we can be,” she added.

Not since Miki Gorman in 1977 had a US woman won the showcase marathon event.

Flanagan, the 2010 New York marathon runner-up, was sixth in last year’s Rio Olympic marathon. She was also the 10,000m runner-up at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The 2017 event, covering 26.2 miles(42.1km) across the city streets, was held just five days after a deadly Manhattan truck attack that left eight people dead.

New York heavily bolstered security for the event, parking more sand trucks to prevent vehicle attacks and stationing extra police on streets.

More than 50,000 participants ran the world famous race and some 2.5 million people packed the streets to cheer on the athletes from around the world.

“We’re a very resilient nation and I don’t think there are many tougher people than New Yorkers, and marathoners are pretty tough too,” said Flanagan.

“I think it’s an opportunity to show resilience and strength coming together. And when you come together as a community it really empowers people and helps people heal.”

At 15 miles, nine athletes broke away from the front pack with Keitany grabbing the lead. At 21 miles, the pack whittled to three: Keitany, Daska and Flanagan, and the final race was on.

The pace picked up and all three runners continually traded positions. At mile 23, Flanagan, the runner from Massachusetts, pulled away and took the lead for good.

In men’s race, Kamworor held off compatriot Wilson Kipsang’s late challenge to win at a time of 2:10:53. Kipsang, the 2014 winner, settled for the second place at 2:10:56. Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia was third at 2:11:32.

Eritrea’s Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, the 2016 winner, started strong in defending his crown, surging ahead twice but being overtaken quickly by the pack each time.

By the time the lead pack entered Central Park, Ghebreslassie was nowhere in sight. His 2016 performance was the third-fastest time ever recorded on New York’s challenging course, but he faded this time.

It was a breakthrough performance for the 24-year-old Kamworor, a two times world champion in half-marathon. He’s the 14th Kenyan to win the men’s race here.

“I’m so happy. I feel so great to be the champion,” Kamworor said. “This is my first marathon victory. I’m so happy and so delighted.”

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