On November 5, 2017, Shalane Flanagan became the first American woman to win the New York City marathon since 1977. With a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 53 seconds, this is a moment the four-time Olympian has been dreaming about since she was a kid. “My coaches told me that it was possible—the training I put in was the best I’ve ever put in,” Flanagan told the New York Times. “These are the moments we dream of as athletes. This is going to feel good for a really long time.”
As Flanagan states, her accomplishment was not without a tremendous amount of hard work. Here are seven things you need to know about the athlete, from her first experience with running to what she hopes other women will take from her win.