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A determined Flanagan perseveres for podium finish at TCS NYC Marathon


NEW YORK CITY -- A trio of American women made history at the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon, finishing in the top six for the first time since 1978. Defending champion Shalane Flanagan (Portland, Oregon) made a late-race move to clinch bronze in 2:26:22, mouthing “I love you” to the cheering crowd as she approached the finish line. 2016 Olympian Molly Huddle (Elmira, New York) took fourth in a new PR time of 2:26:44, followed by 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden (Chula Vista, California) in 2:27:51 to earn sixth place.

2017 TCS NYC Marathon standout Allie Kieffer (West Islip, New York) extended the American women’s glory with a new PR and seventh place finish of 2:28:12. Including Kieffer, four U.S. women finished in the top ten.

The impressive 2018 field was no match for four-time event champion Mary Keitany of Kenya. The current world record holder, who had previously won the NYC Marathon 2014-2016, quickly established an early lead along with Vivian Cheriuyot and Ethiopa’s Rahma Tusa.

Around the 30K mark, Keitany took off and created a 53-second lead to race solo for the remainder of the race, building up to a 3-minute gap between her and the next competitor. Keitany’s 2:22:48 win was the second-fastest women’s NYC Marathon victory ever.

The battle became for third place as Tusa fell within Flanagan’s range with less than three miles to go. The 10,000m Olympic silver medalist strategically made moves to close the gap between her and a podium finish. As Tusa lost speed, Flanagan pushed forward and passed her as the finish line was nearly in sight. In her three NYC marathon appearances, Flanagan has earned silver, gold and bronze.

Des Linden made a confident move to the front early in the race, then eventually lost position to hover in the lower half of the top ten. She recovered two spots to finish in sixth behind Tusa, who fell back to fifth.

USATF 10 km Champion Stephanie Bruce (Phoenix, Arizona) placed eleventh in 2:30:59 ahead of Roberta Groner (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in 2:31:01. Sarah Sellers rounded out the top 20 in eighteenth place, clocking in at 2:36:37.

In the men’s race, Jared Ward (Kaysville, Utah) remained consistent throughout the 26.2 miles. A large pack of runners stayed close for the first 5K, led by Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa. Americans Scott Fauble (Golden, Colorado), Shadrack Biwott (Albuquerque, New Mexico) and Chris Derrick (Naperville, Illinois) moved around within the top ten and finished seventh (2:12:28), ninth (2:12:52) and tenth (2:13:08), respectively.

Desisa, Shura Kitata, Geoffrey Kamworor and Tamirat Tola stayed together until 40K, when Desisa and Kamworor took off. Desisa clinched the top podium position in 2:05:59. Ward, the sixth place finisher at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, maintained a strong pace to become the highest-finishing American man in 2:12:24.

Debut marathoner and five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Arizona) placed eighteenth in 2:17:20. The 43-year-old was attempting to break the USATF Masters marathon record, which remains elusive but he still finished in the top 20.

In the professional wheelchair division, Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland) became the first American man, and youngest ever, to win, defeating Marcel Hug in 1:36:21. The 20-year-old previously won the Chicago Marathon earlier this year.

On the women’s side, five-time NYC Marathon champion Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) narrowly finished second in an exciting battle, 1:50:48 behind defending champion Manuela Schär of Switzerland in 1:50:27.

Click here for full TCS NYC Marathon results. Click here for more on NYRR.

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