Shalane Flanagan’s first-place finish in the New York City Marathon’s women’s division was an incredible achievement on several levels. Not only was it the Marblehead-raised long-distance runner’s first major marathon victory in what she suggested might be the final race of her career, but it was also the first time an American woman had won the race since 1977.
Upon Flanagan’s finish Sunday, the enormity of the moment showed.
The American comes out on top. pic.twitter.com/lkFOrhAmS7
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 5, 2017
— TCS New York City Marathon (@nycmarathon) November 5, 2017
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 5, 2017
— Corinne Pulitzer (@CorinnePulitzer) November 5, 2017
After the race, Flanagan — who withdrew from the Boston Marathon earlier this year to due injury — choked up talking about her victory Sunday.
“About nine months ago, I was heartbroken over not getting the opportunity to race the Boston Marathon,” she said. “It really hurt, quite a bit. I just kept telling myself that there’s going to be delayed gratification and a moment down the road that would make up for it.”
— Jordan Lauterbach (@jlauterbach1) November 5, 2017
“I’ve dreamed of a moment like this since I was a little girl,” said the 36-year-old, later adding, “It took me seven years to do this, so a lot of work just went into this one moment.”
Flanagan also said that as she finished the race she thought about fellow American runner Meb Keflezighi, who finished his final career race Sunday, and how she wanted to make him proud.
“And I think I did,” Flanagan said.