Shalane Flanagan leads the elite pack past Wellesley College. (Mary Schwalm / AP)

Shalane Flanagan is setting a blistering pace in the Boston Marathon, finishing the first 13.1 miles in a record pace of 1:09.25.

The 32-year-old American runner grew up in nearby Marblehead, Mass., and has one goal: winning this race in which she finished fourth last year.

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“If I could have one wish, it would be to win this specific race on this specific day,” she said this week. “It basically would be the highlight of my career, for sure. If I could win this specific Boston: It has the most power, the most meaning behind it, of all the Boston Marathons that would be run.”

An American woman has not won the race since Lisa Larsen Rainsberger in 1985.