Athletics Weekly - - Contents -

Sha­lane Flana­gan overturns Mary Kei­tany to win in the Big Ap­ple

AS SHE strode down the fin­ish­ing stretch in Cen­tral Park, the emo­tion was clear. Sha­lane Flana­gan was about to be­come the first Amer­i­can woman to win the TCS New York City Marathon in 40 years, and there was no hid­ing how much it meant to the 36-yearold, who had made her marathon de­but in the very same race seven years ear­lier.

Ig­nor­ing the script which had Mary Kei­tany down as a strong favourite go­ing for her fourth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory, Flana­gan timed her fin­ish­ing surge to per­fec­tion to move away over the fi­nal few miles and fin­ish more than a minute clear, clock­ing 2:26:53 to the Kenyan’s 2:27:54.

The men’s race also fea­tured a strong fin­ish and this time it was Ge­of­frey Kam­woror who was vic­to­ri­ous, the 24-year-old claim­ing a maiden vic­tory over 26.2 miles. He saw off Wil­son Kip­sang in the last two miles and al­though the for­mer world record-holder man­aged to close the gap, he just ran out of road. Kam­woror’s first ever marathon win – which he adds to a CV in­clud­ing world cross coun­try and half-marathon ti­tles – was se­cured in a time of 2:10:53 as his fel­low Kenyan fin­ished just three sec­onds be­hind.

The last US win­ner of the women’s race was Miki Gor­man in 1977 and Flana­gan was emo­tional as she re­flected on her vic­tory.

“I won­dered if I had enough to beat the best in the world,” said the four-time Olympian, who had been forced to miss her home­town Bos­ton Marathon in April through in­jury.

“My coaches told me it was pos­si­ble and they made me be­lieve to­day it could hap­pen.

“This is go­ing to feel good for a very long time.”

The 2008 Olympic 10,000m sil­ver medal­list and 2010 run­ner-up in New York had pre­vi­ously said she may re­tire with vic­tory but af­ter what she de­scribed as “a pretty flaw­less race for me” she ex­plained she would need to sit down with her coach to dis­cuss what is next.

Flana­gan’s race in­cluded a de­ci­sive mo­ment as the lead run­ners reached Fifth Av­enue. Af­ter a 15-strong group passed half way in 76:18, Kei­tany – who had stum­bled at a wa­ter sta­tion at around 20km – started to string out the front pack but it soon re­formed. At around 20 miles it was Mamitu Daska’s turn to push but Kei­tany and Flana­gan went with her.

Flana­gan then cre­ated a gap and broke away as she reached Cen­tral Park. By 24 miles the Amer­i­can had 14 sec­onds on

Kei­tany, with Daska an­other four sec­onds back. One mile later that lead had grown to 28 sec­onds and it was up to over a minute as she reached the fin­ish­ing line af­ter a 70:35 sec­ond half of her race.

Be­hind Kei­tany, Daska clocked 2:28:08 for third, while Edna Ki­pla­gat was fourth in 2:29:36. Flana­gan’s fel­low Amer­i­can Al­lie Ki­ef­fer was fifth in a huge PB of 2:29:39, while Ital­ian triath­lete Sara Dossena was sixth in the same time.

De­spite miss­ing out on a fourth con­sec­u­tive win on the roads of New York, Kei­tany was pleased with her per­for­mance. “I had a prob­lem yes­ter­day,” said the women-only marathon world record-holder, who added that the prob­lem had not been in­jury. “Some­times you can lose. That’s life. So I’m happy with my re­sult to­day.”

As in the women’s race, all the main con­tenders in the men’s race re­mained to­gether at half way as that mark was passed in 66:09, led by de­fend­ing cham­pion Ghir­may Ghe­bres­lassie.

By 23 miles, Kam­woror seemed keen to push ahead but he still had Kip­sang plus the Ethiopian duo Lemi Ber­hanu and Lelisa De­sisa for com­pany. Kam­woror then used the strength that has helped him to two World Cross vic­to­ries and the speed which has se­cured him dou­ble suc­cess at the IAAF World Half Marathon Cham­pi­onships to storm away over the fi­nal cou­ple of miles.

Kip­sang’s sprint fin­ish wasn’t enough as he crossed the line with 2:10:56 on the clock as De­sisa was third in 2:11:32 and Ber­hanu fourth in 2:11:52. Switzer­land’s Tadesse Abra­ham was fifth in 2:12:01, while Meb Ke­flezighi, the pop­u­lar Amer­i­can who won the 2009 New

York City and 2014 Bos­ton marathons, ran 2:15:29 in his fi­nal marathon.

“I’m de­lighted to have won,” said Kam­woror. “It’s a fan­tas­tic mo­ment. I’m re­ally happy to win a marathon for the first time.”

Ear­lier on there had been a Swiss dou­ble in the elite wheel­chair races as Par­a­lympic marathon cham­pion Mar­cel

Hug re­tained his ti­tle in 1:37:17 from Bri­tain’s John Smith (1:39:36) and Bos­ton and Lon­don win­ner Manuela Schär claimed the women’s win in 1:48:05 from five-time win­ner in New York, Tatyana McFad­den (1:50:57).

Par­a­lympic and world 200m cham­pion Richard White­head, who was re­turn­ing to marathon ac­tion for the first time since 2014 and just a few months af­ter claim­ing sprint medals at the World Para Cham­pi­onships, clocked 3:20:14.

The Ab­bott Dash to the Fin­ish Line 5km and USATF 5km Cham­pi­onships the day be­fore had been won by Molly Hud­dle (15:24 event record) and Shadrack Kipchirchir (13:57).

Bri­tain’s world marathon record-holder and three time New York marathon win­ner Paula Rad­cliffe ran 18:38.


Sha­lane Flana­gan: achieved an emo­tional win

Sara Dossena: the Ital­ian triath­lete to the fore of the large lead group with all the main con­tenders present

Ge­of­frey Kam­woror: held off Wil­son Kip­sang and Lelisa De­sisa for vic­tory

First marathon win: Ge­of­frey Kam­woror

Paula Rad­cliffe: back in New York

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