Shalane Flanagan has decided not to retire and will run the 2018 New York City Marathon in hopes of defending her title. She announced her decision to return to Lindsay Crouse of The New York Times.
“When I think about running New York, I get a feeling of ecstasy; my stomach turns,” Flanagan told The Times. “It’s like if you’re dating someone and it goes well and you want more.”
Last year, Flanagan became the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon in 40 years. At 37 years old, she will try to become the first American woman since Mikki Gorman to repeat as champion. Gorman won in 1976 and 1977. Before last year's victory, she hinted to Sports Illustrated that the 2017 New York City Marathon could have been her final marathon. Her plans changed with the win.
In April, Flanagan ran the Boston Marathon and finished seventh in 2:46:31. The race was won by Flanagan's Olympic teammate Des Linden, who became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years. Linden will also run the 2018 New York City Marathon on November 4th.
Flanagan is a native of Marblehead, Mass. and has been very vocal about her dream of one day winning the Boston Marathon. So while a victory in Boston is still missing from her resume, there is not much else left for her to accomplish.
She finally got the World Marathon Majors victory that eluded her for many years. She has made four U.S. Olympic teams and won a silver medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Summer Games. Her marathon personal best of 2:21:14 puts her as the third-fastest American woman of all-time. She has held several American records on the track and roads and just last month, Flanagan helped pace her Bowerman Track Club teammate Shelby Houlihan to the 5,000 meter U.S. record.
If New York is her final race, it has been quite a decorated and accomplished career worth celebrating for every one of those 26.2 miles.