Former UNC athlete Shalane Flanagan won the women’s race in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, becoming the first American woman to win the race in 40 years.
Flanagan’s unofficial time was 2 hours 26 minutes 53 seconds, The New York Times reported, beating three-time consecutive winner Mary Keitany of Kenya.
From the start, a pack of nine battled with Keitany for the lead, the Times reported, but the pack eventually dwindled down to three: Keitany, Flanagan and Mamitu Daska from Ethiopia.
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With only only three miles left in the race Flanagan pulled away from Keitany, ESPN reported, crossing the finish line by herself and a minute before Keitany.
The last American woman to win the New York City Marathon was Miki Gorman in 1977, according to the Times.
Flanagan, a Massachusetts native, competed in track and field and cross country events for the Tar Heels from 2000 to 2004 and graduated from UNC, the university said on Sunday, and set several records for the university, including four national titles in cross country, the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay.
Flanagan is a four-time Olympian – competing in the 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 games – and at the most recent games, she placed sixth in the marathon.
She won the bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the 10,000 meters, which was later upgraded to a silver medal in the summer of 2017, the university said, when the second-place competitor Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey was disqualified in March for testing positive for a banned substance.