Shirley Reilly of Los Gatos finally got her gold medal Sunday on the final day of the 2012 Paralympics in London.

After earning silver and bronze medals on the track Reilly won the women's wheelchair marathon in a dramatic conclusion to the two-week spectacle. Reilly, 27, made a mad rush to the finish in the shadow of Buckingham Palace to edge three others in a time of 1 hour 46 minutes 33 seconds.

"I kept motivating myself to keep going because I was hanging on in there for a very long time," she told reporters. "It was a very tactical race, with a lot of twists and turns. It was tough."

Reilly, who lost use of her legs and partial hearing as a result of being born six weeks prematurely, edged Shelly Woods of Great Britain by a second. Bronze medalist Sandra Graf of Switzerland and Amanda McGrory of Kennett Square, Pa., were another second back.

McGrory was credited with the same time as Graf but finished just outside the podium after leading at the halfway point.

"I started out so strong and halfway through the race no one was near me," McFadden said. "Then the tire went and it took me nearly five minutes to fix it while the pack went past."

Reilly, a junior at the University of Arizona, won her third marathon of 2012, and the fourth of her career. She also got a silver medal in the 5,000 meters and a bronze in the 1,500 meters during the Paralympics.

Born in Barrow, Alaska, she moved with her family to San Jose as a toddler to get better medical care. Reilly got involved with wheelchair sports at age 8 when joining a South Bay group called Wheels on Fire. The Los Gatos High graduate competed in the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics but had never won a medal until this summer.