Weighing in at 106 lbs. and standing at a mere 5’5″, American runner Shalane Flanagan won the New York Marathon on Sunday, November 5th. Having placed 2nd in the NY Marathon seven years ago, Flanagan’s win is a story of redemption and perseverance.
Flanagan grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts to 2 dedicated, almost godly, runners. Parents Cheryl and Steve were both avid participants in the US World Cross Country Championship. Flanagan and her sister Maggie were raised together by her father and step mother at Marblehead. She ran in high school, as well as swimming and playing soccer. In her free time she was a painter in the arts program. Flanagan is well-rounded, not to mention her successful future in the Olympics.
Although her life sounds breezy, earlier this year Flanagan’s health took a turn. Due to aggressive amounts of time spent on the treadmill and running on slippery surfaces in Portland, Oregon, Flanagan’s lower back could no longer handle the time Flanagan spends running (which is a lot). This injury caused her to miss the Boston Marathon, which she looked forward to greatly before it occurred.
‘My dad always warned me: “Never take a Ferrari off-road.” Why would you do that? He’s been telling me that for years as an elite runner. I probably should have known better.’ Flanagan recounts after breaking her iliac bone in the pelvis area, completely due to changing running conditions.
As any athlete knows, being out of the sport you love can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. After letting her iliac bone heal up, however, Flanagan was back at it and ready to win the New York Marathon. After a few short months of training, she ran the 26.1 mile race in 2 hours 26 minutes and 35 seconds. Let’s take a minute to do the math. That 2 hours 26 minutes and 35 second time divided by 26.1 miles, which is 5.6 minutes. That’s a 5.6 minute mile for 26 miles STRAIGHT. Flanagan deserves this win and all of the US is proud to represent this win, despite all the unfortunate things to come of our country lately.
Breaking an almost 4 decade losing streak for the United States, Flanagan wins.