But Flanagan, motivated and exhilarated, proved untouchable even for Keitany. With tears in her eyes, pointing and shouting (with maybe a few colorful words thrown in), Flanagan won the race with a time of 2 hours 26 minutes 53 seconds.
Keitany, who finished second with a time of 2:27:54, hugged Flanagan, who had the American flag already draped over her shoulders. Mamitu Daska, of Ethiopia, competing in the New York City Marathon for the first time, finished third with a time of 2:28:08.
Keitany was seeking to cap a career year, in which she won the London Marathon with a blistering time of 2:17:01, a women’s-only record. She had blown away the field here a year ago, winning by a margin (3 minutes 34 seconds) not seen in the women’s race since 1980.
It was clear almost from the start, though, that Sunday’s race was not going to follow the same trajectory. A pack of nine competitors consistently jockeyed with Keitany for the lead, including three runners making their New York debut: Kenya’s Betsy Saina; Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska; and Sara Dossena, an Italian triathlete.
After 21 miles, the lead pack whittled to three: Keitany, Daska, and Shalane Flanagan, a 36-year-old from Massachusetts, who finished second in New York in 2010. Keitany finally removed