Pump the brakes: 36-year-old Shalane Flanagan has at least one more marathon in her, as Boston Marathon title sponsor John Hancock announced today that the four-time Olympian will compete once again in her hometown race in 2018.
This fall, Flanagan contemplated retirement after becoming the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon since 1977. The victory was her first major marathon title.
"Boston's always in my heart," she said in an interview before New York. "New York and Boston, to me, are magical marathons and that's why I've always chosen [to race here] . . . I would have to consider, obviously, if I were in the unbelievable position of winning [New York] . . . whether I were to go back to Boston. But I'm acting like this is it; this is all I've got. I'm not thinking about saving anything for the future. If I need to break a leg in the race in order to win, I will do anything I possibly can to put myself in to have that chance."
The Marblehead, Massachusetts, native competed at Boston three times in 2013 (2:27:08/fourth), 2014 (2:22:02/fifth), and 2015 (2:27:47/ninth).
Her competition at the 121st annual event will be tough. Defending champion Edna Kiplagat will be back — though the 38-year-old was just fourth behind Flanagan in New York. The men's defending champion, Geoffrey Kirui, will also return.
John Hancock also announced the rest of the American fields today, which will include the Nike Oregon Project's Galen Rupp (runner-up at Boston 2017; Chicago champion) and Jordan Hasay (third at Boston 2017), plus Desi Linden (2011 Boston runner-up), Molly Huddle (third at 2016 NYC), Deena Kastor (American record holder, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist), Dathan Ritzenhein (three-time Olympian), and Abdi Abdirahman (third at 2016 NYC).
And Here's the 2018 U.S. Elite Field! #Boston Marathon #TogetherForward @Abdi_runs@abumbalough@DeenaKastor@des_linden@djritzenhein@G_Rupp@JordanHasay@kellyn_taylor@MollyHuddle@ryanvail@SaraHall3@Scott_n_ready@serena_burla@ShalaneFlanagan@skiptoob pic.twitter.com/DCldh4Kvyy— Boston Marathon JH (@jhboston26) December 11, 2017
The last American woman to win Boston was Lisa Larsen Weidenbach (now Rainsberger) in 1985.