Monday, November 6, 2017

Flanagan: “It was an incredible epic day”

Less than 24 hours after her biggest moment, Shalane Flanagan was back at the scene of her triumph this morning, speaking to the media alongside the New York City Marathon in Central Park, and the 36-year-old reflected on the race, her future plans and what it all meant to her.

“I didn’t know I was that far ahead,” she said of the closing minutes. “I was running scared the last two miles. At the very end I could sense no one was there so I could finally enjoy the moment.”

 Spurred on to victory by a vocal crowd, Flanagan made sure to send a message back to the thousands of supporters today:

“Thank you so much for creating at atmosphere that allows us athletes to perform to the best of our ability. Yesterday in those final miles I was thinking of the heartache New Yorkers endured in the past week, of Meb and his final marathon, trying to honor all the people who have given time to me. It was an incredible epic day and I was so grateful I could be a part of history.”

Flanagan was also asked whether she will continue competing, but said she had not made any decision just yet.

“I’ve been at this running thing for a long time at a professional level and I have other things in my life I’m interested in that I want to dedicate time to,” she said. “I think I can add to the running community in different capacities. When you’ve achieved something that’s just epic, everything you wanted and it’s so hard to top, I’m the sort of person who’s like:  if it’s already been done and I can’t top it, why continue when I can maybe do something else to contribute?

Her celebrations last night saw her unable to sleep, and Flanagan has made multiple appearances today on some of the nation’s biggest TV shows.

“I’m trying to live in the present moment, because these are the moments you dream of,” she said. “I’m trying to live right now,” she said. “I did’t sleep last night. I tried, but it wasn’t happening. At 3am I was eating pizza.”

Flanagan also stressed that despite it being a personal triumph, she was proud to share it with her fellow Americans.

“I feel like it’s an American victory as much as mine because it’s been 40 years,” she said.

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Flanagan flies to victory in New York


Shalane Flanagan ended a 40-year drought for American women at the TCS New York City Marathon today, the 36-year-old claiming an historic victory in 2:26:53 to defeat the world’s best marathoner: Mary Keitany.

After a slow early pace, the Nike Bowerman Track Club athlete bided her time in the pack as a large group passed halfway in 1:16:18. Only in the final three miles did Flanagan make her move, surging to the front and dropping a 5:08 mile to escape from Keitany and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia.

From there she never let up, extending her advantage all the way to the finish to claim her first victory in an Abbott World Marathon Major, which proved all the sweeter after being forced to withdraw from Boston earlier this  year with injury.

“About nine months ago I was heartbroken about not getting to race in Boston and it hurt quite a bit,” said Flanagan, “but I kept telling myself there’d be delayed gratification and a moment down the road that made up for it.

“I’ve dreamed of a moment like this since I was a little girl. It means a lot to me, to my family, and hopefully inspires the next generation of American women to be patient. It took me seven years to do this so a lot of work went into this moment.”

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Flanagan: “This is the best build-up I’ve ever had”


Shalane Flanagan
is hopeful of crowning her career on Sunday with her first victory at an Abbott World Marathon Major, where she will take on the world’s best marathoner in Kenya’s Mary Keitany.

“In everyone’s career, what keeps us coming back is those feel-good moments and I’m chasing that moment,” said Flanagan yesterday. “Physically, I feel really good. I’m in a really fortunate position. This is the best build-up I’ve ever had, so I’m excited about it.”

Flanagan, 36, is unsure when she will call a halt to her glittering career, but she is certain of her one remaining goal: to win a marathon major.

“I think some people are motivated by times and others by the opportunity to be New York City champion,” she said. “The track is about fast times and to me, I remember who is champion at the marathons. I love the head-to-head competitions, so what motivates me is to try and beat these incredible women, not the time.

“My dream scenario to exit the sport with is to have a major win. I feel like I’ve done almost everything I wanted to do. I have some unfinished business, and I’m chasing being like Meb [Keflezighi] and Deena [Kastor] and having that win. If I was in a position to win on Sunday, I feel like that would be my last [marathon].”

For more, check out this video from Letsrun.com.

 

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Jager donates Olympic uniform


Evan Jager paid a visit to his old high school in Algonquin, Illinois last Friday and left the students with a gift that will prove as memorable as it will inspirational: his uniform from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Jager, who took the silver medal in the men’s 3000m steeplechase in Rio, was given a hero’s welcome when he was introduced to the students of his alma mater, who got to meet and greet the 28-year-old.

“I want to show the kids…that really unimaginable things are possible,” he said.

For more on his visit, check out this story in the Chicago Tribune and this feature by the Northwest Herald.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Flanagan feeling good ahead of New York


With a little over three weeks to go until the TCS New York City Marathon, Shalane Flanagan says she is feeling “better than I have in a long time” as she prepares for her first marathon of 2017.

The 36-year-old, a member of the Nike Bowerman Track Club, spoke with reporters on a conference call alongside Meb Keflezighi today and said that the injury problems which derailed her bid for the Boston Marathon earlier this year are now thankfully behind her.

For the past several weeks she has been training at Mammoth Lakes in California, and though the marathon always brings a sense of uncertainty about racing shape, Flanagan impressed on her most recent outing, clocking 31:15 for the Beach to Beacon 10K in early August. In New York she will seek her first victory in a Marathon Major, and she will have to defeat Kenyans Mary Keitany and Edna Kiplagat to do so.

“I think I’ve always had a sense of urgency when it comes to the marathon because if you can arrive at the start line healthy and fit, I really put pressure on myself to deliver because it’s rare to have both of those on the same day,” said Flanagan, who has logged up to 130 miles a week in training. “New York is a really difficult course and so I’m hoping that those really big miles that I put in will pay off for me on November 5.”

For more, check out this story by Jonathan Gault of Letsrun.com and this story by Erin Strout of Runner’s World.

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