"This is the moment I've dreamed of since I was a little girl".
"It's been a tough week for New Yorkers and a tough week for our nation and I thought of what a better gift than to make Americans smile today", she said, referring to the Tuesday, Oct. 31, truck-ramming attack that killed eight in what authorities described as a terrorist act.
Shalane Flanagan became the first American woman for 40 years to win the New York Marathon as she captured her first major world title.
In the men's race, Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor held off countryman Wilson Kipsang to clock 2:10.53 and win by three seconds.
When crunch time came it was Flanagan, not Keitany, who dominated, impressively leading the final three miles.
Flanagan previously finished second in the 2010 NYC Marathon. Flanagan covered the 23rd mile in 5:11, and the 24th mile in 5:04 to build a 28-second lead over Keitany with one mile to go. Kenya's Wilson Kipsang took second place, finishing in 2:10:56, and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, victor of the 2013 and 2015 Boston Marathons, finished third in 2:11:32.
"I'm so happy. I feel so great to be the champion", Kamworor said.
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.
The wheelchair division was a sweep for Swiss athletes, with Manuela Schar and Marcel Eric Hug winning. Flanagan also took bronze in the 10,000-meter contest at the 2008 Olympics, but in March, the International Association of Athletics Federations ruled that the silver medalist, Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse, was being sanctioned for a positive doping case and was disqualified for a two-year period that included the Beijing Games, making Flanagan's the second-fastest time. The title was Hug's third in New York City.