Erin Hamlin, the first U.S. Olympic singles luge medalist and Team USA flag bearer at the PyeongChang Olympic Opening Ceremony, will run the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4.
Hamlin, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist who retired after her fourth Olympics in PyeongChang at age 31, is running to fundraise for the Women’s Sports Foundation. So is Marlen Esparza, who in 2012 became the first U.S. Olympic women’s boxing medalist (flyweight bronze).
Hamlin has no marathon experience, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.
“Being challenged in sport is something I am very familiar with,” Hamlin said in a mass email Wednesday, according to TeamUSA.org. “Long distance running is something I most certainly am not!! It will be difficult, mentally and physically daunting, but a way to test my abilities in a sport so far out of my comfort zone.”
Many Olympians in non-running sports have raced the New York City Marathon.
Bill Demong, the 2010 U.S. Olympic Closing Ceremony flag bearer and only U.S. Olympic Nordic combined champion, ran the 2014 NYC Marathon in 2:33:05, crushing eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno‘s 3:25:14 from 2011.
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Des Linden will follow her breakthrough Boston Marathon win by racing her second New York City Marathon on Nov. 4.
“Breaking the tape at this year’s Boston Marathon was a lifelong dream come true,” Linden said in a New York Road Runners press release. “At the moment, it felt like it was the culmination of my career, but I believe I still have plenty more to give to the marathon. I’m thrilled to head to the TCS New York City Marathon this fall. I’m motivated to get back on the big stage that NYRR will undoubtedly put together and intend to make a name for myself in another great city.”
Linden, a two-time Olympian, became the first U.S. female runner to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years on April 16.
The 34-year-old navigated the world’s oldest annual marathon’s most dreadful weather in at least 30 years. High 30s at the Hopkinton start. Headwinds of 20 mph. A downpour.
Now she’ll look to make it two straight U.S. women to win in New York after Shalane Flanagan in 2017. Linden was fifth in her previous New York start in 2014, the last time she raced a fall marathon.
Flanagan, 36 and a four-time Olympian, has not announced whether she will defend her title, but she will at least be coaching 95 recreational runners/beer lovers who will be given spots on the Staten Island start line through Michelob Ultra.
The last female runner to win Boston and New York City in the same year was Norwegian Ingrid Kristiansen in 1989. The last American runner (male or female) to pull off the double was Alberto Salazar in 1982, before Boston started awarding prize money and the elite international fields became dominated by East Africans.
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the Berlin Marathon for the fourth time on Sept. 16, seeking again to challenge the world record on the world’s fastest record-eligible course, according to event organizers.
Kipchoge, a 33-year-old Kenyan Olympic champion, won Berlin in 2015 and 2017 and was second in 2013, his only defeat in 10 career marathons.
Kipchoge’s personal best of 2:03:05, set at the 2016 London Marathon, is eight seconds shy of Dennis Kimetto‘s world record from the 2014 Berlin Marathon.
Kipchoge’s two Berlin wins came in 2:04:00 in 2015 (with his soles flapping out from the back of his shoes) and 2:03:32 last year (in rain and humidity).
Fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, who lowered the world record at the 2013 Berlin Marathon and has run four sub-2:04s, is also in the Berlin field.
As is Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, the half-marathon world-record holder whose marathon personal best is 2:10:41, though he ran 2:06:51 in Nike’s sub-two-hour marathon attempt not run under record-eligible conditions (where Kipchoge famously clocked 2:00:25 last year).
Top U.S. men’s marathoner Galen Rupp already chose his fall marathon, defending his title in Chicago on Oct. 7. Former training partner and four-time Olympic track champion Mo Farah is expected to race either Chicago or New York City on Nov. 4.
The world’s other top marathoner, New York City champion Geoffrey Kamworor, has not announced his fall marathon plan.
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