2017 New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan has decided to run at least one more marathon and will race the 2018 Boston Marathon on April 22, 2018.
Flanagan, who became the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon in 40 years, will have her hands full as the U.S. elite field for the Boston Marathon also includes Jordan Hasay, the second-fastest U.S. marathoner of all-time. The two have never raced each other at the marathon distance.
No American woman has won the Boston Marathon since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985.
This will be the first time since 2015 that Flanagan returns to Boston. As a Marblehead, Mass.native, she has previously been very vocal about winning the historic race in her home state. She was set to run in last year's race but suffered a back injury that forced her to pull out of the race. She credits having to take that time off as part of the reason why she was able to peak in November and win her first marathon major. Flanagan has run the Boston Marathon three times and finished fourth in 2013, fifth in 2014 and ninth in 2015.
Hasay has found immediate success at the marathon distance. She made her debut in last year's Boston Marathon and finished third in 2:23:00, which is the fastest debut by an American woman. She backed that performance up by running 2:20:57 to move ahead fo Flanagan on the U.S. all-time list.
After the race, Flanagan was among several U.S. athletes who were hesitant on extending congratulations to Hasay for her performance. Hasay runs for the Nike Oregon Project and is coached by Alberto Salazar, who remains under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after former athletes and coaches alleged that Salazar pushed the boundaries on anti-doping rules. After the Chicago, Flanagan said: "As a fan of my own sport, it’s hard to have full excitement and faith when you don’t know all the facts yet. There’s still an investigation going on so it’s hard to truly and genuinely get excited about the performances that I’m watching. And I think it’s really important to consider who you associate with."
If this is the final marathon of Flanagan's career, Hasay is not the only U.S. star that she will have to worry about. Molly Huddle will be making her Boston debut. Huddle broke Flanagan's American record in the 10,000 meters at the 2016 Olympics and then ran 2:28:13 in her marathon debut at the 2016 New York City Marathon. Desi Linden, who finished second at the 2011 Boston Marathon and was a teammate of Flanagan's on two Olympic teams, will also race.
Watch the announcement below:
The U.S. men's elite field is headlined by Olympic bronze medalist Galen Rupp, who finished second in April's Boston and then won October's Chicago Marathon. He is joined by three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein and four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman.
Last week, the BAA announced that 2017 champions Edna Kiplagat and Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya will return to defend their titles. Kiplagat most recently finished fourth in the New York City Marathon. Kirui went on to win the gold medal at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London just four months after his Boston win.
Full U.S. elite field
Jordan Hasay (2:20:57)
Shalane Flanagan (2:21:14)
Desiree Linden (2:22:38)
Serena Burla (2:26:53)
Sara Hall (2:27:21)
Molly Huddle (2:28:13)
Kellyn Taylor (2:28:40)
Dathan Ritzenhein (2:07:47)
Abdi Abdirahman (2:08:56)
Galen Rupp (2:09:20)
Ryan Vail (2:10:57)
Shadrack Biwott (2:12:01)
Scott Smith (2:12:21)
Andrew Bumbalough (2:13:58)