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April 16, 2013

Marblehead's Flanagan finishes fourth at Boston Marathon

BOSTON — Shalane Flanagan has had dreams of winning the Boston Marathon since she was a little girl growing up in Marblehead.

The 31-year-old didn’t quite get the fairy tale ending she was hoping for, as she crossed the finished line on Boylston Street in fourth place in the Women’s Elite race with a time of 2:27:08 in yesterday’s 117th Boston Marathon.

The two-time Olympian showed signs of disappointment after the race, as she hoped to become the first American woman to win Boston since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985. Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo was the women’s winner in 2:26:25.

“I don’t dream of fourth, I dream of winning and I was pretty bummed,” Flanagan said just minutes after crossing the finish line. “The hardest part about Boston is that the fans want you to win just as much you do. I could feel that they wanted it for me.

“I wanted to do it for everyone. I wanted to be part of history, but it wasn’t my day. I felt like my race was very tactically sound, holding my cards close to my chest and I’m just bummed I couldn’t pull it off.”

Hours after Flanagan crossed the finish line two bombs exploded near the end of the 26.2 mile course, injuring scores of runners, spectators and volunteers. Flanagan later Tweeted that she was alright, posting last night, “My family and I are safe. Thank you for your concerns. Devastating.”

Flanagan, who ran in her fourth career marathon yesterday, maintained a steady pace throughout the course. She stayed with the large pack of female runners, behind then front-runner, Ana Dulce Felix of Portugal.

A pack of four, Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo and Sharon Cherop, Ethiopia’s Meseret Hailu and Flanagan broke away from the larger group and overtook Felix’s lead around Coolidge Corner. Flanagan maintained her fourth place position throughout the final two and half miles of the race just behind Jeptoo, runner-up Hailu (2:26:58) and Cherop (2:27:01).

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