NYC Marathon 2017: Shalane Flanagan Wins Women’s Race

But Flanagan, motivated and exhilarated, proved untouchable even for Keitany. With tears in her eyes, pointing and shouting (with maybe a few colorful words thrown in), Flanagan won the race with a time of 2 hours 26 minutes 53 seconds.


Keitany, who finished second with a time of 2:27:54, hugged Flanagan, who had the American flag already draped over her shoulders. Mamitu Daska, of Ethiopia, competing in the New York City Marathon for the first time, finished third with a time of 2:28:08.

Keitany was seeking to cap a career year, in which she won the London Marathon with a blistering time of 2:17:01, a women’s-only record. She had blown away the field here a year ago, winning by a margin (3 minutes 34 seconds) not seen in the women’s race since 1980.

It was clear almost from the start, though, that Sunday’s race was not going to follow the same trajectory. A pack of nine competitors consistently jockeyed with Keitany for the lead, including three runners making their New York debut: Kenya’s Betsy Saina; Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska; and Sara Dossena, an Italian triathlete.

After 21 miles, the lead pack whittled to three: Keitany, Daska, and Shalane Flanagan, a 36-year-old from Massachusetts, who finished second in New York in 2010. Keitany finally removed her sleeves. The race was on.

The pace picked up, and all three runners continually traded positions. But as they made their way down Fifth Avenue, one runner began to break away. Surprisingly, it was not Keitany.

Flanagan entered the Engineers’ Gate into Central Park with a wide berth. In a bizarre decision, Keitany began to drift toward the east side of 5th avenue, away from Flanagan’s tail, before zigzagging back into the customary route. At that point, though, it was too late to catch the runner from Massachusetts — a second-place finisher in the New York marathon in 2010, but unbeatable Sunday.

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More on Kamworor’s Victory

Geoffrey Kamworor peeked over his shoulder in the final stretch, sizing up Wilson Kipsang just a few strides behind him. Kamworor didn’t crack, holding on to win his first New York City Marathon in 2:10:53.

It was a breakthrough performance at 26.2 miles for Kamworor, 24, a two-time world champion in the half-marathon. He’s the 14th Kenyan to win the men’s race here.

Kipsang finished second in 2:10:56, and Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa was third in 2:11:32.

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

Meb Keflezighi, 42, finished 11th. It was Keflezighi’s 26th and final race, his 11th New York City Marathon. Keflezighi won here in 2009 and won the Boston Marathon in 2014.

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First across the finish line. Marcel Hug of Switzerland, a push-rim wheelchair racer, wins all the races — Boston, Chicago and now New York in 2017. Sunday morning’s victory was his third New York City Marathon title. His unofficial time was 1 hour 37 minutes 17 seconds. Manuela Schär, also of Switzerland, won the women’s push-rim wheelchair race, holding off Tatyana McFadden, a five-time winner.

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Marcel Hug of Switzerland raced through Central Park on his way to his third New York City Marathon title.

Credit
Karsten Moran for The New York Times

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Manuela Schär of Switzerland won the push-rim wheelchair race in 1 hour 48 minutes 9 seconds.

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Uli Seit for The New York Times

How many runners are in the field? More than 50,000. (A precise tally won’t be known until Sunday afternoon, when race officials have determined how many runners failed to make it to the start line — and how many of those runners failed to reach the finish.) Last year, the race had its highest number of finishers, 51,394, setting a record for largest marathon in the world.

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The Staten Island Ferry provided the most scenic trip to the start area.

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Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Where are the start and finish lines? The start is at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. The finish, 26.2 miles later, is on West Drive in Central Park, near Tavern on the Green.

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The first mile of the marathon takes runners over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from Staten Island into Brooklyn. They have a long way to go.

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Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

■ How’s the weather? For marathon running, quite good — cloudy and not too warm. The mist might be annoying to some spectators, but it’s a relief for the runners.

What’s the situation with security? It’s more intense this year, because of the terrorist incident in Lower Manhattan. The police said they would use snipers, aviation units, undercover officers and sanitation trucks filled with sand, known as blocker cars, that help prevent someone from driving into crowds of people.

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When Malika Andrews, a Times reporter, spoke with runners last week, she said that most runners from other countries she spoke with were less concerned about security than were the runners she spoke with from the New York area. Her article is here.

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Officials said security would be tighter than ever for this year’s New York City Marathon.

Credit
Hilary Swift for The New York Times

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