NEW YORK — Ben True said his strategy was to hold back until the near end of a half-marathon, then use his speed in the final stretch, and “hang on for dear life.”

It worked.

The North Yarmouth, Maine, native was first American to win the 13.1-mile course in the 12-year history of the United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday.

True says he didn’t feel confident about his ability to win until the last mile.

He holds the American record for 5K road racing but had not previously raced longer than 10 miles. He said he’s not giving up on shorter distances but might mix it up a bit more.

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