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Amanda McGrory Wins Women’s Wheelchair Marathon In Record Time

2011 ING New York City Marathon

NEW YORK SPORTS HEADLINES

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NEW YORK (AP) — Amanda McGrory of the United States set a course record in the women’s wheelchair race and Masazumi Soejima became the first men’s Japanese winner in the New York City Marathon.

The 25-year-old McGrory of Champaign, Ill., finished the 26.2-mile course through the five boroughs of New York in 1 hour, 50 minutes, 24 seconds.

“It was fabulous, I couldn’t ask for a better day weather-wise,” McGrory said of the sunny day with temperatures that started in the mid-40s and rose to the 50s. “The crowd was phenomenal as always. I felt great and pulled away at the halfway mark, was feeling strong and took it home.”

She was followed by Shelly Woods of Britain (1:52:52) and Tatyana McFadden of the United States (1:52:52). The previous women’s course record was set by Edith Hunkeler of Switzerland in 1:52:38 in 2007.

McGrory, a four-time Paralympic medalist, also won the Paris and London Marathons one week apart this year. Last weekend, she finished second in a marathon in Japan.

“It’s tough,” she said of the turnaround. “It’s one of those things that’s unfeasible for a runner to do, but a little bit more reasonable for a wheelchair racer.”

The 41-year-old Soejima finished in 1:31:41, followed by Kurt Fearnley of Australia (1:33:56) and Kota Hokinoue of Japan (1:34:22). Soejima also won the Boston Marathon this year.

Soejima was inspired to race for children following the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.

“I made a promise with the children athletes in Oita that I was going to win the New York City Marathon,” he said. “I’m very happy that I kept that promise.”