Shalane Flanagan is out to repeat at the 2018 New York City Marathon after becoming the first American woman in 40 years to win the race last year. Flanagan, a four-time Olympian, had never won a major marathon before last year. Now 37, she may be entering into the waning years of her competitive career, but that isn’t stopping her from trying to repeat.
This year, the 37-year-old runner is feeling liberated with her win.
“I feel like I can take big risks this year,” she told Runner’s World. “That’s the beauty of being the defending champion. I’ve already accomplished what I really wanted, so now I have the ability to really do whatever I want. I don’t feel the panicky desperation to win— I am calm and calculated, but also willing to do big things.”
Flanagan’s confidence should serve her well. She finished in seventh at the Boston Marathon this year amid rainy conditions, but another New York win would be huge for her. However, it isn’t the end-all-be-all.
“If I have a presence and I’m a factor in the race, that to me is a winning scenario,” she said, via Runner’s World. “I really just want to be an ultimate competitor up front.”
Here’s what you need to watch the 2018 New York Marathon, as Flanagan looks for that second major win.
Other runners to look out for include reigning Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden, the three-time defending champion before Flanagan took the crown, Mary Keitany from Kenya, and 2018 third-place finisher Mamitu Daska from Ethiopa.
For the men, Bernard Lagat is making his debut at 43 years old. A five-time Olympian, Lagat’s best half-marathon time is a ridiculous 1:02. He’ll be going up against 25-year-old Geoffrey Kamworor form Kenya, the defending New York champion. Abdi Abdirahman and Jared Ward — both of whom have Olympic experience — also headline the race for the Americans.
2018 New York Marathon
- Date: Sunday, Nov. 4
- Time: 9:20 a.m. pro women, 9:50 p.m. pro men
- Location: Staten Island to Central Park (map here)
- Channel: ESPN2
- Stream: WatchESPN
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