Shalane Flanagan to defend New York City Marathon title rather than retire

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Shalane Flanagan considered retirement. The decision? She’s not done racing.

Flanagan will defend her New York City Marathon title on Nov. 4, according to The New York Times.

“When I think about running New York, I get a feeling of ecstasy; my stomach turns,” she said, according to the newspaper. “It’s like if you’re dating someone and it goes well and you want more.”

Last year, Flanagan became the first U.S. female runner to win New York in 40 years. That followed one of the most difficult years (injury, missing world champs) of the four-time Olympian’s elite career that has spanned 16 years.

Flanagan teased possible retirement before and after that victory. But the Massachusetts native signed up for one more Boston Marathon this year, finishing seventh in the dreadful weather and a race won by countrywoman Des Linden.

After, Flanagan said she didn’t know what the future held, only that she had raced Boston for the last time as an elite.

The 37-year-old hasn’t ruled out going for the 2020 Olympics, when she could be the first U.S. distance runner to compete in five Games. She would be the third-oldest female U.S. Olympic runner after marathoners Colleen de Reuck (2004) and Francie Larrieu-Smith (1992), according to Olympic historians.

Flanagan won the 2012 Olympic Trials and has 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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F4%k YEAH!!!!!! I’m heading back to NYC 🗽♥️ “When I think about returning to race in New York City, I’m flooded with magical memories. My heart skips a beat, I get butterflies in my stomach, and my palms get sweaty. New York City is incredibly special to me. It’s where I ran my first marathon in 2010, placing second, and of course, my dream come true moment in 2017 when I won the TCS New York City Marathon. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity, support, passion, and health to defend my title in 2018. I hope everyone preparing enjoys their journey to the start line and I look forward to celebrating with all the runners at the finish line on November 4th.” #TCSNYCmarathon #MovedMe 📷 @nyrr

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