Shalane Flanagan finishes second and captures U.S. title in her marathon debut.
Written by: Mario Fraioli
It was a couple of first timers who generated all the excitement, but in the end it was marathon veteran Edna Kiplagat who pulled out the victory at Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon, as the Kenyan broke the tape in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 20 seconds.
“I’m happy because the field was so strong and I managed to pull away from them,” Kiplagat said after the race.
Shalane Flanagan was the runner-up in her debut marathon–finishing just 20 seconds behind Kiplagat in 2:28:40–and captured the U.S. women’s marathon title as the top American across the finish line. Kiplagat’s countrywoman and marathon rookie Mary Keitany rounded out the top-3 in 2:29:01.
“I credit my team,” Flanagan said. “I was so prepared. I’m so grateful and I was so nervous. And (coach) Jerry Schumacher was so confident of what I could do. I couldn’t be more thrilled with my first marathon. I’m just so thankful right now.”
In near-ideal conditions that featured a slight breeze and temperatures in the low-to-mid 40s, a large lead pack of over 20 women went through three miles in a slow split of 18:05. Not much changed over the next three miles as 10 kilometers was passed in 36 minutes flat. Defending champion Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia was constantly looking over her shoulder to see if anyone wanted to break free, but no one seemed ready to make a major move as Great Britain’s Mara Yamuchi and New Zealand’s Kim Smith went back and forth sharing the work at the front of the pack.
Passing 15K in 53:54, Yamauchi put forth a small surge that was quickly squashed. A large group of women stayed together through halfway in 1:15:47 and not much changed for the next 5 miles as 30K (18.6 miles) went by in 1:47:13. The trio of Kiplagat, Flanagan and Keitany decided enough was enough and broke free from the pack just after the 20-mile mark before Flanagan took over the lead with 5K to go. After the 23rd mile was passed in 4:58, Kiplagat and Keitany bolted to the front and the real race for first place was underway.
Flanagan, who was 4 seconds behind Kiplagat and 1 second back of Keitany at 40K, had one move left in her arsenal, however. She moved past Keitany and moved into second place with less than a mile to go, but it wasn’t enough to reel in Kiplagat, who had the final stretch to the finish line in Central Park all to herself.
Fifty women started the elite women’s race, which got underway 30 minutes ahead of the main field of over 45,000 runners.
Stay tuned to Competitor.com for more on the ING New York City Marathon throughout the day!