Marblehead, Massachusetts Native Wins NYC Marathon - NECN
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Marblehead, Massachusetts Native Wins NYC Marathon

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mass. Man Proud of NYC Marathon Champion Daughter

    Steven Flanagan, father of New York City Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan, speaks of the champion's roots in her hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 6, 2017)

    Every finish line has a start. For Shalane Flanagan, the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon in 40 years, her start came in her hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts.

    "I can feel the hair on my arms come up," said her father, Steven Flanagan, as he recalled the moment he knew he daughter was going to win. "It's emotional. I'm not a real emotional guy and my eyes were leaking. No doubt."

    Before dominating the 26.2 miles in NYC, the 36-year-old owned the tracks at Marblehead High School.

    "We're going to our state meet this weekend, so this is a huge enouragement and inspiration to [our runners]," said Kylynn McKinley, the cross country coach at Marblehead High.

    Flanagan was a co-captain of the team in 1999-2000 and three-time conference MVP.

    She played soccer her freshman year at Marblehead High, only joining the cross country team as a sophomore. Experience wasn't an issue, as she won her first state championship that year.

    After her graduation, she turned to Tobacco Road, where she became an NCAA Champion at the University of North Carolina. In 2008, she won an Olympic Silver Medal.

    With that history of success, her father admits he had no idea his daughter was going to win Sunday.

    "Mary Keitany should have been the favorite, and was," said Steve Flanagan. "She's run 2:17:00."

    On Sunday, Flanagan crossed the line with a time of 2:26:53. She beat Keitany by a minute.

    How did she win? Steve Flanagan points to a slow pace set by Keitany that saved energy for his daughter to burn at the end of the race.

    Flanagan will be in Marblehead on Nov. 25 for "Back the Track 5K."

    The money raised from the event will help pay for the rebuild to the track where Flanagan got her start.

    On page 98 of her high school yearbook, you'll find a message to the running champion in 2000.

    "Shalane: You've conquered the US, now go for the world."

    That dream was realized 17 years later.

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