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Shalane Flanagan won the NYC marathon, then went back that night to cheer on stragglers

Shalane Flanagan of Marblehead crossed the finish line to win the Professional Women's Divisions of the New York City Marathon Sunday. Andrew Gombert/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

After winning the New York marathon, Shalane Flanagan returned to the finish line to hand out medals.

In a Monday morning interview on ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” Flanagan said she and 2014 Boston marathon winner Meb Keflezighi handed out medals to runners who were crossing the finish line at around 8:30 p.m. -- nearly 10 hours after the race began.

On Sunday, the Marblehead native became the first American woman to win the New York marathon since 1977. Keflezighi was the last American man to win the New York marathon in 2009.

Flanagan finished second in New York in her first marathon in 2010 but hadn’t run the race since. After a fracture in her lower back kept her out of this year’s Boston marathon, Flanagan kept her eye on New York.


Flanagan tried to explain to show hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest how it felt to win the New York City marathon after so many years of work.

“Well, imagine you’re living your dream and in front of millions of people and you get to celebrate it with the people that you love,” she said. “I dreamed of that moment since I was a little girl and to have it come true is just -- I was trying to savor it, but I was also in a lot of pain.”

Flanagan comes from a family of runners. Her mother, Cheryl Treworgy, once held the American and world record in the marathon. Steve Flanagan, her father, was a U.S. World Cross Country Champion participant and a marathon runner.

Shalane met her husband, Steve Edwards, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where they were both members of the cross country and track teams. Flanagan and Edwards’s two foster daughters, Breauna and Keauna Cobb, are sprinters on their high school track team.


During the interview, Ripa and Seacrest told Flanagan she made it look effortless during the 26.2 mile race, even in the final stretch.

“I train really hard to make it look easy, but it’s not easy, as everyone can attest in here. I’m sure people are having trouble with stairs today. And sitting down on toilets is a little rough,” Flanagan joked.

Ripa pointed out that the three of them were standing for the duration of the interview since Flanagan was still feeling sore from the race the day before. “That’s why we’re standing,” Ripa said gesturing to the lounge chairs behind them.

When Ripa and Seacrest asked Flanagan about what she first ate after her appetite came back, she smiled and said, “A slice of New York pizza.”

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.