US runner Shalane Flanagan became the first American woman to win the New York Marathon in 40 years on Sunday, while Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor won his first major marathon on the men’s side.
Flanagan ran away from her last rivals in the closing stages as she completed the 42.195-kilometre course in 2 hours 26 minutes 53 seconds.
Kenyan Mary Keitany came in second at 2:27:54 as she missed a record-equalling fourth straight top spot, followed by Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia at 2:28:08.
Flanagan, the silver medallist in 10,000 metres at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had finished second in New York in 2010 before now becoming the first American woman to win in Central Park since Miki Gorman in 1977.
Injury had kept her from running in April’s Boston Marathon and she last competed in a marathon during last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Flanagan, 36, had told Sports Illustrated ahead of the race that she was unsure whether she would continue competing after New York.
Kamworor nabbed his first major marathon victory in 2:10:53 hours after twice holding the world championship in the half marathon.
He beat out fellow Kenyan and former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang at 2:10:56 and Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa at 2:11:32.
Meanwhile, American Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 winner, drew cheers as he crossed the finish line in 11th place in his final race before retiring at age 42 with a time of 2:15:29.
The race came just days after a terrorist attack in the city left eight people dead and police promised an increased security presence for the event that draws thousands of spectators as well as racers.
Last year’s race saw 51,394 finishers, setting a record for the world’s largest marathon.