SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 21, 2014

Marblehead's Flanagan sets personal best, finishes 7th in Boston Marathon

Phil Stacey
The Salem News

BOSTON —

Shalane Flanagan, the Marblehead native who had hoped to become the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 29 years, finished in seventh place today during the 118th running of the world's most famous race.

Flanagan crossed the finish line in a time of 2 hours 22 minutes and 1 second. That shattered her previous best marathon time of 2:25.38 in Houston two years ago during the 2012 Olympic Trials.

In the men's race, 38-year-old American Meb Keflezighi won in a huge upset in 2:08:35, leading an elite field for the bulk of the race.

The 32-year-old Flanagan shot out to a fast lead and held that advantage over the other women's elite runners for the first 19 miles of the race. For much of that time, she was on a record pace. But she was caught, then passed, on the hills in Newton between miles 19 and 20 and couldn't get back out front.

This was Flanagan's second time running the Boston Marathon; she finished in fourth place a year ago in 2:27.08.

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended her Boston Marathon women's title, pulling away from the pack over the last five miles to smash the previous course record in 2:18.57. Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia also broke the old course mark, finishing second in 2:19.59.