Under Tight Security at NYC Marathon, Flanagan Upsets Keitany, Ending U.S. Drought

NEW YORK (AP/Hamodia) -
NYC Marathon
Police guard runners along 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Shalane Flanagan dethroned Mary Keitany on Sunday and became the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon since 1977, potentially ending her decorated career with her first major marathon victory.

Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya won the men’s race, holding off countryman Wilson Kipsang by three seconds for his first major victory.

Keitany had won three straight New York marathons, but Flanagan pulled away from the Kenyan great with about three miles to go. Flanagan finished in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 53 seconds, about a minute faster than Keitany. The American cried and yelled as she approached the finish line all alone.

The last American woman to win New York was Miki Gorman, who won consecutive titles in 1976-77.

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.

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 finish.

The marathon was held under tighter-than-usual security following the Manhattan bike-path terror attack last week Tuesday.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the deployment of thousands of additional security personnel to enhance the protection of the runners and spectators.

The NYPD deployed sand trucks to block certain routes, and officers with long guns, plainclothes officers, K-9 units and the department’s counterterrorism unit were stationed throughout the marathon route.

Also, the New York State Police, National Guard, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey all increased deployments and patrols at high-profile locations in New York City, including airports, bridges, tunnels, and mass transit systems.