The front page of the New York Times Monday morning was shocking. A woman won the New York City marathon! Impossible!
The Times special marathon section certainly gave that impression, too.
Google "who won the New York City marathon?" and Shalane Flanagan's name comes up first. And don't get me wrong: Her time of 2 hours 26 minutes 53 seconds was impressive. And she was the first American to win the women's race in 40 years. Not bad.
But a woman did not finish first in the NYC marathon. Flanagan's time was 16 minutes slower than the winner of the New York City marathon men's race, Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor of Kenya.
Kamworor's win is buried by the Times, relegated to page 3 of the special section. The Times, and the rest of the media, neglects to note that five American men beat their self-declared winner Flanagan.
But never mind, the headlines all tell the same story: A woman won the NYC marathon!
"American woman wins NYC Marathon for 1st time in 40 years," CNN reported. A reader has to get six paragraphs in to realize Flanagan won the women's title.
"An American Woman Just Won the NYC Marathon for the First Time Since 1977," wrote Time.
"1st American woman to win NYC Marathon in 40 years calls victory a ‘pinch me' moment," said ABC News.
ESPN doesn't even mention there were two different races, with different start times.
The headlines all seem surprising and uplifting (Go USA!). Until you realize that of course a woman won the women's race. It actually happens every year.