New York City marked the end of the year’s major marathons. Though some fast times could still be posted, namely in Fukuoka in December, the American bests are likely all set.
It turned out to be a strong year for American marathoners placement-wise, thanks in large part to New York City, where the U.S. put a man and a woman on the podium in the same year for the first time since 1994.
The U.S.’ best finish in an annual World Marathon Major this year (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York City), prior to New York City, was a seventh place from Serena Burla in Chicago.
The lack of success in city marathons can be chalked up to the Olympic year. Every elite U.S. marathoner chose the U.S. Olympic Trials in February over a spring marathon, and the six who made the Olympic team all skipped fall marathons.
At the Olympics, Galen Rupp took bronze for the first U.S. marathon medal since 2004. Combined with Jared Ward‘s sixth-place finish, the U.S. was the only nation to put two men in the top 10.
In the women’s race, the U.S. became the second nation ever to put three women in an Olympic marathon top nine — Shalane Flanagan was sixth, Desi Linden seventh and Amy Cragg ninth.
Simplified, the U.S. would have swept the golds if the Olympic marathons were team events.
Strictly looking at times, the U.S. was not particularly fast this year. Again, the Olympics are the reason.
The best Americans skipped the traditionally fast major marathons (London, Berlin, Chicago), and the Olympic Trials and the Rio Games were not fast races.
The fastest American man, Rupp, ran 2:10:05, which ranks him No. 108 in the world in 2016, according to the IAAF.
The top woman, Flanagan, ran 2:25:26, which ranks her No. 42 in the world this year.
The 10 fastest U.S. marathon times for men and women are below.Follow @nzaccardi
|Galen Rupp||2:10:05||Rio Olympics||Third|
|Galen Rupp||2:11:12||Olympic Trials||First|
|Abdi Abdirahman||2:11:23||New York City||Third|
|Jared Ward||2:11:30||Rio Olympics||Sixth|
|Shadrack Biwott||2:12:01||New York City||Fifth|
|Meb Keflezighi||2:12:20||Olympic Trials||Second|
|Jared Ward||2:13:00||Olympic Trials||Third|
|Luke Puskedra||2:14:12||Olympic Trials||Fourth|
|Shalane Flanagan||2:25:26||Rio Olympics||Sixth|
|Desi Linden||2:26:08||Rio Olympics||Seventh|
|Molly Huddle||2:28:13||New York City||Third|
|Amy Cragg||2:28:20||Olympic Trials||First|
|Amy Cragg||2:28:25||Rio Olympics||Ninth|
|Desi Linden||2:28:54||Olympic Trials||Second|
|Shalane Flanagan||2:29:19||Olympic Trials||Third|
|Kara Goucher||2:30:24||Olympic Trials||Fourth|