4 Reasons We're Inspired By The Badass Woman Who Won The New York Marathon

Photo: MIKE SEGAR/ Landov.
Mary Keitany won the New York City Marathon for the second year in a row on Sunday.
Mary Keitany won the New York City Marathon for the second year in a row on Sunday. You might remember Keitany from her 2014 finish, when she clinched one of the closest victories in marathon history. In that race, she beat the second-place finisher by a mere three seconds. This year, the 33-year-old professional runner from Kenya finished the 26.2-mile course in just 2:24:25, beating her own 2014 time by about 30 seconds.

Here are four more inspiring facts about Keitany that are sure to motivate you to give your all in meeting your own goals.

1. She's in an extra-elite class of marathon winners: Only eight women have won the course more than once in the 45-year history of the race, according to USA Today. The last woman to win back-to-back titles was Paula Radcliffe, who finished first in 2007 and 2008.

2. Winning wasn't a given:
Keitany hasn't always been a star at distance running. She told Runner's World that she came in 21st when she ran her first 10K, a Shoe4Africa road race. Over the past decade, she's become one of the most accomplished women in competitive distance running. She's won major races, including the London Marathon, and has set several records.

3. She balances her running career with family life: When she's not running, Keitany is busy with another marathon of sorts: parenthood. She and her husband, who is also a runner, are the proud parents of two children, Jared and Samantha. With each pregnancy, Keitany took a one-year break from training. Returning to the track after the births of her children and finding balance between training and family life have proven challenging, but Keitany says motherhood also gave her a new drive to win. "You realize you are not just running for money or for glory, but for giving your children a better future by improving your performances," she said in an interview published on the New York City Marathon website.

4. She puts in the work to win:
Keitany has no shortage of grit and determination, as her photo-finish win in the 2014 marathon shows. That attitude shows up in her training. She pushes her own pace by working out with a small circle of male runners whose times beat her own career best, according to Runner's World. "She is born to run fast. However, on top of this, she has discipline and a very professional attitude," coach Gabriele Nicola told the magazine. "There is no secret. You must have all of these things (to succeed). Talent alone is not enough."