After finishing second in 2010, the last time she ran the New York Marathon, Shalane Flanagan became the first American woman to win the event for 40 years on Sunday. Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya won the men's race.
Flanagan pulled away from Mary Keitany with about three miles to go, to break the Kenyan runner's three year winning streak in the event.
Flanagan finished in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 53 seconds, about a minute faster than Keitany. The American cried with joy as she approached the finish line with no other athlete in sight.
Flanagan finished second in New York for her first marathon in 2010 but hadn't run this race since. After a fracture in her lower back kept her out of the Boston Marathon in the spring, Flanagan trained hard for New York with an eye on Keitany and many feel this win may crown a decorated career.
The last American woman to win New York was Miki Gorman, who won consecutive titles in 1976-77.
Kamworor takes debut win
The Kenyan domination of the men's race continued as Geoffrey Kamworor held off the challenge of compatriot Wilson Kipsang by 3 seconds for his first major victory.
The victory means a Kenyan athlete has won the men's race in five of the last six occassions. Kamworor ran the race in 2:10:53. He and Kipsang embraced just past the finish line to huge cheers.
American running great and 2009 New York winner Meb Keflezighi completed his 26th and final marathon, collapsing as he crossed the line.