Shalane Flanagan, a four-time Olympian and 2017 New York City Marathon winner, said before and after the Boston Marathon in April that it would likely be her last time racing the world’s oldest annual 26.2-miler as an elite.
She’s sticking to that.
Flanagan’s name was noticeably absent from the U.S. elite entries for the 2019 Boston Marathon announced Tuesday.
“As of now, Shalane has no intentions of running Boston,” her husband said in an email Wednesday. “She’s just taking a break from running.”
Flanagan, 37 and a Massachusetts native, approached her three most recent marathons as if they could be her last.
She became the first U.S. female runner to win New York in 40 years in 2017. She placed seventh in Boston last April in miserable weather. Then she was third in her New York defense on Nov. 4, mouthing “I love you” and waving her right hand to the Central Park finish-line crowd.
“I just thought [in the final miles] if this truly is going to be my last race, a podium spot really would be special,” Flanagan said that day.
Flanagan could try to become the first U.S. distance runner to compete in five Olympics in 2020. At 39, 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.
But Flanagan, the 2008 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist, hasn’t said whether she will enter the Tokyo trials on Feb. 29, 2020 in Atlanta.
“My heart is leaning towards serving others,” Flanagan, who as a training group teammate has helped Amy Cragg to a world bronze medal and Shelby Houlihan to the American record in the 5000m in the last two years, said Nov. 4. “It’s become swinging more in that direction than it is in my own running.”
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