On Sunday, November 5, 2017, an American woman led a pack of thousands of runners in the 47th annual New York City Marathon. She is thirty-six years old, a devoted wife, a foster mother, an accomplished author, and an American record holder in multiple long distance running events. She just became the first American woman in forty years to win the New York City Marathon. Her name is Shalane Flanagan.

The New York City Marathon is one of the biggest long distance running events in the world, so everyone should realize what a huge moment this is for Flanagan, as well as for the United States. Winning a major world marathon had been a key goal of Flanagan’s for before she retired from professional running. At her debut marathon in 2010, which also happened to be the New York City Marathon, she placed second. This was a huge accomplishment for her, but she had some rough patches throughout the later years. She was able to prove herself again as one of the best long distance runners in the world this past Sunday, and she could not be more overjoyed. We should all be overjoyed, proud, and supportive of this outstanding woman.

Another milestone at this year’s New York City Marathon (no pun intended), was the ending of American Meb Keflezighi’s professional running career. At forty-two years old, he had decided that it was about time to retire from professional running. He put up a strong and inspirational fight in his last race, finishing in eleventh place. He crossed the finish line and collapsed on the ground in exhaustion, as well as in emotion, surrounded by thousands of fans. The American running community is saddened to see him leave the professional circuit, but he leaves behind a remarkable legacy, and he clearly put all of his heart into his final race.

Another runner in this year’s Marathon that more people might recognize? Kevin Hart. The thirty-eight-year-old American comedian, actor, and writer finished his first 26.2-mile race on Sunday, crossing the line in 4:05:06—not too shabby for an amateur. After the race, he tweeted: “The experience was unbelievable….This was the first of 10 for me. I think I found a new love.” Maybe we will see more of Hart and other celebrities joining the running community.

Running is an exciting sport that often does not get enough coverage and recognition. Moments like these at the 2017 New York City Marathon prove how thrilling running can be. The United States of America has some incredible runners that deserve endless support for their accomplishments. Let’s show some love for Shalane, Meb, Kevin, and the thousands of other inspiring runners from this past weekend.

More about this year's NYC Marathon: