Massachusetts native Shalane Flanagan wanted her last Boston Marathon as an elite runner to be memorable. It wasn’t, seventh place in miserable weather, but the four-time Olympian is not changing her mind.
The 36-year-old, four-time Olympian said Friday that her fourth Boston Marathon would likely be her last unless she returns in a non-competitive capacity. She stuck to that statement Monday afternoon.
“I don’t know what’s next, but for sure I think this was my last Boston Marathon,” Flanagan said, according to Runner’s World. “I think that’s it. This course is really hard. The conditions are really hard. And I’m not averse to hard things, but I think I’m good with Boston. I think that was it.”
Flanagan also stuck to her Friday statement that she could run another marathon other than Boston.
“I don’t know,” what my future holds, Flanagan told media after a hot shower and 90 minutes bundled up in her hotel room. “I feel very unsatisfied with that performance, to be honest, because I know different circumstances I’m capable of more, but at the same time, it is what it is. I don’t know.”
She could try to become the first U.S. distance runner to compete in five Olympics in 2020. She would be the third-oldest female U.S. Olympic runner after marathoners Colleen de Reuck (2004) and Francie Larrieu-Smith (1992), according to the OlyMADMen.
Flanagan was asked if she might defend her New York City Marathon title in the fall, or chase a fast time in Europe or Chicago in October.
“Maybe neither, actually. The only thing that really motivates me now is maybe trying to train and help the other two women on my Bowerman Track Club team make the next Olympic team,” Flanagan said, likely referring to 2016 Olympic marathoner Amy Cragg and 2016 Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen, who converted to running in the last six months. “So I may take a little break and assess what I want to do next. I have to see what motivates me because the training is hard.”
If Boston marked Flanagan’s last marathon as an elite racer, she will retire as the third-fastest American woman all time behind Deena Kastor and Jordan Hasay.
She won the 2012 Olympic Trials and finished first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth and ninth in her major marathon career to go along with her 2008 Olympic 10,000m silver medal.
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