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I was the last person to cross the 2021 NYC Marathon finish line

The last finisher of Sunday’s New York City Marathon has a easy motto: “If you can’t be first, it’s great to be last.”

Fredilyn “Fredi” Bangwa, a 42-year-old civil engineer from Bergenfield, New Jersey, crossed the finish line previous 11 p.m. — when lots of the roughly 25,000 contributors have been doubtless cozy of their beds. But that isn’t stopping Bangwa from brandishing her medal like a badge of honor.

Her finish time was 10:54:58 — a far stretch from Kenya’s Albert Korir 2:08:22 time, which earned him the $100,000 first-place prize.

She could not have damaged any information, however Bangwa nonetheless had an inspiring run.

She’s accomplished 4 earlier marathons — normally with a finish time of about seven to eight hours. In 2019, she was compelled to bow out mid-course. This 12 months, she confronted an excellent larger problem.

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“I was always a slow runner and I’m fine with that,” stated Bangwa. “But I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last year — and it became painful.”

Still, Bangwa wasn’t going to let the fiftieth anniversary marathon milestone cross her by.

Bangwa, the final recorded finisher from the 2021 NYC Marathon, made a
Bangwa, the last recorded finisher from the 2021 NYC Marathon, made a “friend for life” in Mario Diurno.
Courtesy of Fredilyn Bangwa

Her credo? “Determined to finish” — notably with the help of her household and mates.

“I had some doubts, but everyone was so encouraging,” stated the married Bangwa. “It was important for me to do this. When I didn’t complete the 2019 marathon, I was bummed — I needed to redeem myself.”

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She is aware of somewhat one thing about perseverance in the face of adversity. The week after the 2019 marathon, she went again to the course and ran the last eight miles. “[I] picked up from where I left off and finished the course,” she stated.

During Sunday’s race, she fought off persistent ache in her ankles.

“There were several times I thought about peeling off the course,” she stated. Her two older sisters met her at mile 16 with a walker, which she used for the remaining 10 miles, pushing out any ideas of quitting.

“I earned the entry in. Considering how many people want to participate in and how many people can’t, I didn’t want to let this chance go by,” she stated from her house on Monday, the place she was recuperating.

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Bangwa earned her medal, after a grueling marathon that she said may be her last.
Bangwa earned her medal, after a grueling marathon that she stated could also be her last.
Courtesy of Fredilyn Bangwa

She additionally made a brand new pal on the course: Mario Diurno, a first-time marathoner who works for the rehabilitation program Release.

“We were keeping each other motivated, especially with the course being dead. We couldn’t have finished without each other,” she stated, noting the immediate and intense bonding that developed. “I think we’re friends for life.”

The last runner she glimpsed behind her and Diurno was round mile 13 by the Pulaski Bridge. The lady stated, “I don’t think I’m going to make it” — and wasn’t seen once more.

“There were sweepers behind me,” Bangwa stated. “The workers on the bike would come by, ask if I could finish, if I wanted a MetroCard. They wanted me to be safe and feel OK. It’s like, ‘Hey, do you want to get on the sweep bus?’”

Despite momentary temptation, she caught to her weapons. “I stayed the course,” she stated, with Diurno ending in entrance of her.

Fredilyn Bangwa, a six-time NYC Marathon finisher, proudly wears on her bib the motto:
Fredilyn Bangwa, a six-time NYC Marathon finisher, proudly wears on her bib the motto: “Determined to Finish.”
Courtesy of Fredilyn Bangwa

And she’s already secured her entry spot for subsequent 12 months. While she’s contemplating giving her physique a break, she says there’s simply one thing about this race that pulls you again in.

“I’m trying to talk myself out of it, but you never know — it’s addictive.”

While Bangwa could have completed last — she wasn’t the slowest.

That distinction goes to Rozanna Radakovich, a 74-year-old from Soho who accomplished her thirty fifth marathon at 12:21:03.

That’s a great methods away from her first marathon in 1984, when she ran a 5:04, however the slowest runner remains to be taking a victory lap.

NYC's
NYC’s “slowest” runner, Rozanna Radakovich, 74, took greater than 12 hours to finish the marathon — her thirty fifth.

“I don’t care — I’m not going to win anything, I’m doing it for me,” Radakovich advised The Post.

“Of course I’m proud of myself — how many people can say they’ve done 35 marathons?”

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