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Running Into the Record Record Books

Sophie Jeffery, Staff Writer

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For the first time in 40 years, an American woman has been crowned the champion of the New York City marathon. As a 2-time Olympic marathon competitor (2012 and 2016), and the Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000 meter race (2008), Shalane Flanagan has already accomplished much in her career. She has also won many national and world medals, and is renowned in the running world. But perhaps achieving a feat that hasn’t happened in 4 decades is just as incredible, and Flanagan has made herself a household name.

With an impressive time of 2:26:53, Flanagan easily defeated 3-time New York marathon champion Mary Keitany of Kenya. This defeat in particular was very unexpected – even Flanagan did not anticipate that she would win due to her competition. What makes this even more praiseworthy was that Flanagan crossed the finish line a whole minute ahead of Keitany. Even winning a race by 10 seconds is admirable, so conquering by a whole minute is practically unheard of.

Flanagan’s win is very inspiring – not because of who she beat or the time she completed the race in, but because she’s been having a rough season. Earlier this April, Flanagan was forced to withdraw from the Boston Marathon due to a back injury that kept her away from running for 10 weeks. Coming back from an injury that keeps you away from your sport for 2.5 months is very challenging, yet Flanagan fought for a successful recovery and is clearly back on her game. Also, as an older runner, Flanagan might not be expected to keep up with the younger athletes, but she held her ground.

One significant part about Flanagan’s running is that she runs “clean”. That is, she trains or races without the assistance of drugs and steroids. Actually, some of Flanagan’s medals, such as her olympic silver medal from Beijing, have been upgraded because those who have beaten her were tested positive for drug use. The fact that Flanagan has been so successful with her sport is awe-inspiring already. However, adding that with how she can do the same things that people who use drugs can do is the icing on the cake. Flanagan really proves that one does not need any drugs or steroids to be good at their sport. And honestly, doing everything “cleanly” is more admirable and profitable.

With a recent terrorist attack, New York City has been going through a tough time. However, that can be forgotten due to Flanagan’s win. America hasn’t seen one of their own women win the New York marathon in forty years, and everyone has been so excited for Flanagan. This new topic of Flanagan’s victory is certainly one that can uplift everyone’s spirits.

In just one race, Shalane Flanagan has become an inspiring beacon for those in America, whether they are women or not, and everyone is in awe of her success.

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Running Into the Record Record Books